Matteo Ruvolo, Milan
Pizzaiolo and instructor,
Scuola Pizzaioli Europei
“For the most part, prosciutto crudo, bre-saola and speck go on after the pizza is
cooked. ;ere is an exception to the rule,
but, in general, it’s better to put any type
of salumi that is seasoned and relatively dry under the cheese if
you’re going to put it on the pizza before it goes into the oven.
Once certain cured meats caramelize in the oven, they can
Paola Laghetti, Verona
O;cial translator for the U.S. Pizza Team
“Prosicutto cotto (ham) and salame pic-cante (pepperoni) can go in the oven with
the pizza. But prosciutto crudo and speck
should always go on after baking. You can
always find someone who does it a di;erent
way, but it’s not the ‘right’ way to do it.”
Marianna Iodice, Bari
Journalist, Pizza e Core and RistoNews.com
“We have several di;erent kinds of salumi,
some of which are good before the oven
and some after, but I think there is no rule
for this. Only prosciutto crudo is never put
on the pizza before it goes into the oven,
because it will lose its characteristic flavor and texture. Generally, prosciutto cotto and salame (mild or spicy) go on the pizza
before the oven, but we can find some recipes where they go on
after the oven. Keep in mind that a Neapolitan pizza stays in
the oven only three minutes at 350° to 400°, and the toppings
never get charred!”
Bernardo Garofalo, Catania
Master pizza chef and instructor,
Italian Pizza Makers Association
“It’s not a question of under or on top of the
mozzarella—all cold cuts should be placed
on a pizza only after it has been cooked!”
The Salumi Question
Who knew cold cuts could be so controversial? We asked
several Italian pizza pros when to put salumi on a pie,
and everyone had a slightly different answer.
10 Italian Food
Salad: We never start our meals with salad.
We just use it as a side plate for the second
course (meat or fish).
Wine: We try our best to pair wines with our
food. White wine goes with fish and some
kinds of pasta or risotto; red wine goes with
meat. (Bubbles are only served as an aperitif
or with desserts.) Now there is a new trend to
pair beers with the kind of pizza you are eating.
Pineapple: Pineapple is never an option as
a pizza topping.
Mozzarella: Provolone, Asiago and other
cheeses can never replace mozzarella on your
pizza. They are just another kind of topping.
Pecorino Romano: This is not a substitute
for Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Grana Padano)—
it’s considered a very poor cousin! It can be
quite good on some kinds of pasta, however.
Cappuccino: It’s only a morning drink! You
can choose between cappuccino or espresso
as your breakfast beverage, but cappuccino
should be forbidden by law after 10 a.m. When
you see someone having a cappuccino with
lunch…well, no comment!
Pizza base: No mayonnaise or any other
creamy sauce should ever serve as the base
for your pizza!
Fettuccine Alfredo: My husband is called
Alfredo, an old-fashioned name. He is a smart
and nice guy. That’s it! We have nothing to do
with Alfredo sauce on fettuccine or spaghetti.
It does not exist in Italy!
Chicken: We put a lot of things on pasta, but
chicken never goes on pasta or a pizza. Ever!
Salame, coppa, prosciutto crudo and
speck: If you bake them on your pizza, you’ll
get a salty and bitter taste. These are always
to be added after baking.