No-Knead Pan Pizza with Caramelized Fennel and Tuscan Sausage

Stephen La Rosa indulges us with his no-knead pan pizza

As much as I can appreciate the perfect neapolitan style pizza, there is a place in both my heart and my recipe book for a well-made pan pizza. The dough is wonderfully simple to put together. Requiring only a little bit of foresight, it takes a slow overnight proof to develop flavour and texture in the finished crust.

Makes 2x 11” pizzas

Active time 1 hour

Total time 12-22 hours


For the Dough

480g bread flour

12g table salt

5g instant yeast

330g water

Olive oil as needed


For the sauce

400g canned tomato

1 stalk of fresh garlic, sliced

2 bay leaves

Salt and chili flakes to taste


For the topping

1 bulb of fennel, sliced

400g Tuscan sausage (or any mild flavoured sausage)

1 stalk green garlic, sliced

1 sprig rosemary

250g Mozzarella

Parmesan and olive oil to taste





For the Dough

  1. Begin by combining all of your dough ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until they come together. Cover well and allow to sit at room temperature overnight, up to 20 hours.
  2. After proving overnight, turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and split into two pieces. Roll each half into a ball and place onto an 11” oven safe pan, lined with a tablespoon of olive oil. Flatten each ball to form a disk.
  3. Cover and allow to proof for 2 hours.


For the Sauce

  1. Place a small pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced green garlic and the bay leaves. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes. Add ½ a teaspoon of chili flakes and cook for 1 additional minute while stirring.
  2. Add the can of tomato to the pot and stir to combine.
  3. Break up any large chunks of tomatoes with a fork and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced, while stirring regularly.

For the Toppings

  1. Tear your mozzarella and let it sit on paper towels to drain off any excess moisture.
  2. Place a wide bottomed pan over medium high heat. Remove the casings from the sausage and break the meat into small pieces with your fingers.
  3. Place into the pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and cook for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the pan once cooked.
  4. Add your sliced fennel to the hot pan, reserving a few thin slices for garnish.
  5. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring only occasionally to remove the fond from the bottom of the pan. Deglaze lightly with water if needed.
  6. Once nicely browned, add the green garlic and the sprig of rosemary and continue to cook for 2 minutes before removing from the pan.

To finish

  1. Preheat the oven to 280C (or as high as your oven can go).
  2. Flatten your pizza dough using your fingers to stretch it out across the base of your pan.
  3. Top lightly with sauce, plenty of the sausage meat and caramelized fennel and finish with grated parmesan. Top with a few shavings of fresh fennel and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Cook on the bottom shelf of your oven for 8 minutes and the top shelf of your oven for the following 7 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately with some chili flakes available at the table, it really rounds out the flavours of the pizza but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea!

For a visual representation of the pizza making process check out @stephen_la_rosa on instagram for a full story highlight. If you’re interested in picking up more cooking tips, techniques and recipes check out

Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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