Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
Broiling a thin-crust pizza on a superheated cast iron skillet, a method popularized by Heston Blumenthal, simulates the heat of a wood oven to produce Neapolitan-style pies at home. Jim Lahey's no-knead dough makes delicious pies when cooked this way.
Strainer Things Have Happened
Strained San Marzano tomatoes make a great sauce—no cooking required. Lightly salt the tomatoes to season them and draw out their liquid, and then pour them into a strainer lined with cheesecloth or paper towels and place over a bowl to drain.
You Know What They Say: Big Skillet, Big... Oven Mitts
Get your largest skillet as hot as possible, preferably using an outdoor grill to avoid smoking up your kitchen. The skillet will take about 20 minutes to heat. Mine got so hot that it burned me through my oven mitts, so be careful when you handle it.
Get Your Troops in Position
Once you start stretching out the dough and adding toppings, you'll have to work very quickly or the dough will stick to the work surface. Therefore it's important to have all your toppings arranged beforehand. This mise-en-place got me through an epic night of four different types of pizza.
Roll the dough out as thinly as possible. This is the hardest step as the dough is very wet and sticky. If you have a pizza peel you can roll the dough out on the counter; if not, roll it out on a floured cookie sheet, with which you can transfer the dough to the skillet.
Race to the Top
Quickly top the pizza with a little tomato sauce and evenly distributed slices of sopressata and chunks of mozzarella. Leave a little under an inch around the edge of the round of dough untopped to create a puffy cornicione. Don't add too many heavy or wet toppings to the pizza, or you'll end up with a soggy crust.
Between a Rock and a Hot Place
Transfer the pizza to the skillet and slide under the broiler. You might have to experiment with different positions for your oven racks; the pizza should be as close as it can get to the broiler without copiously smoking from proximity to the heating element. Cook the pizza until both the undercarriage and the top crust are well-browned and slightly charred and the cheese is browned and bubbly, rotating the skillet halfway through to ensure even cooking. Depending on your oven, the pizza could take anywhere from two to four minutes to cook. If the top is done before the undercarriage, transfer the skillet to a lower rack to continue cooking for a few minutes.
No, You Cannot Share with Me
The finished pie will feed one hungry person. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil chiffonade, and a little extra virgin olive oil.
What Lies Beneath
The crust should be a lovely golden brown with a leopard-spotted undercarriage and a puffy, crispy cornicione with an open hole structure. Crispy and chewy, it's not far from the Neapolitan ideal.