Pizza Atomica

By Ruth Gresser | October 07, 2015
With its blast of flavors from the crushed red pepper flakes, the hearty salami, and the briny olives, this pizza lives up to its name. We use Casalingo salami at Pizzeria Paradiso—aged but not dry, hearty and rustic in flavor, and coarse and fat in texture—to give that distinctive Atomica flavor. You may use any salami of your choice to develop a flavor that suits your taste, and use more or less crushed red pepper flakes according to your desired level of spiciness.


  • 4 ounces (115 g) fresh cow’s milk mozzarella
  • 1 ball Paradiso Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
  • Cornmeal, for sprinkling
  • 3⁄4 cup (170 g) Winter Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces (43 g) salami, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup (25 g) pitted, halved Kalamata olives
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling


Makes one 12-inch (30 cm) pizza

1) Place a pizza stone on the top rack of a cool oven. Set the oven to broil and preheat for 30 minutes.

2) Cut the mozzarella into 1⁄3-inch (about 1 cm) dice. You should have about 3⁄4 cup (115 g).

3) On a floured work surface, flatten the dough ball with your fingertips and stretch it into a 12-inch (30 cm) round. 

4) Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and lay the pizza dough round on it. Spread the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inch (1.3 to 2 cm) of dough uncovered around the outside edge. Place the slices of salami evenly around the pizza. Place the olives on top of the salami and sauce. Sprinkle the pizza with the crushed red pepper flakes. Scatter the cheese evenly over the other toppings. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil.

5) Give the peel a quick shake to be sure the pizza is not sticking to the peel. Slide the pizza off the peel onto the stone in the oven. Broil for 1 minute. Turn the oven temperature to the highest bake setting and cook for 5 minutes. Quickly open the oven door, pull out the rack, and with a pair of tongs, rotate the pizza (not the stone) a half turn. Cook for 5 minutes more.

6) Using the peel, remove the pizza from the oven. Cut into slices and serve.

Greg’s Beer Cooler: IPA
Hop-forward IPAs pack a one-two punch when paired with this pizza. The bitter alpha acids in the hops cut through the fatty country salami, while the hops’ citrus notes intensify the saltiness of the olives. This pairing will knock you off your feet.

Greg’s Pick: Three Floyds Zombie Dust
Winter Tomato Sauce

I call this “winter” tomato sauce because when tomatoes are out of season, you can still make this sauce and enjoy a bright tomato flavor.

Uncooked and chunky, it has little in common with most tomato sauces. The chunks of tomato become both sauce and one of the pizza toppings. At Pizzeria Paradiso, we use a combination of diced canned tomatoes and crushed tomatoes; for the latter, we use Pomi brand.

1) Drain the diced tomatoes and place them in a large bowl.
2) Stir in the remaining ingredients.
3) Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

Makes 2 1⁄2 Cups (565 g)

2 cups (484 g) canned diced tomatoes, drained (about one 28-ounce, or 800 g, can)
1⁄3 cup (60 g) canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon
(15 ml) olive oil
2 large fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Paradiso Pizza Dough

Pizzeria Paradiso’s bready and robust pizzas rise from this dough. Both crispy and chewy, it can star in a pizza of few toppings or perform the supporting role for your elaborately topped pie.
While you can make this dough in an electric mixer, food processor, or bread machine, I have chosen to teach you the simple method of hand mixing using only your fingers and a dough scraper as your tools.

1) Mound the flour on a clean countertop and make a large well (about as wide as your outstretched hand) in the center of the flour. Add the water and yeast to the well and let stand for
5 minutes to dissolve the yeast.

2) Using the index and middle fingers of one hand, mix the salt and oil into the water. Again using the index and middle fingers, gradually begin to draw the flour from the inside wall of the well into the water, being careful not to break the flour walls. Continue mixing the flour into the water until a loose dough is formed. Using a dough scraper, continue gradually mixing in the remaining flour until the dough forms a ball.

3) Using even pressure, begin kneading the ball of dough by pushing down and away with the heel of your hand. Next, take the far edge of the dough and fold it in half onto itself (e). Turn the dough a quarter turn. Push down and away again with the heel of your hand. Again fold the dough in half and turn. Continue kneading (pushing, folding, and turning), adding flour as necessary,

Makes dough for two 12-inch (30 CM) pizzas

1 pound (455 g) white bread flour, plus more as needed
1 1⁄4 cups (285 ml) warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon (15 g) kosher salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil


  • pizza atomica recipe