La Vera Cucina

Ciabatta Pizzette

Around lunchtime at Vinny’s Deli in Pawling, NY, owner Vinny LaMorte says that one of his most popular offerings is his Ciabatta Pizzette. The secret to its popularity is that before the ciabatta bread crust is topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, it is first toasted crostini style with a flavorful olive oil. Because of this important step, when the Pizzette is finally assembled, the crust retains its uniquely “crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside” character.

Vinny points out that by preparing ciabatta crusts in advance, they can be rapidly assembled and heated, making them viable lunchtime offerings.



  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread about 16” long
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage
  • 8 strips red bell pepper sautéed
  • 8 strips green bell pepper sautéed


Slice ciabatta loaf horizontally. Open loaf, place flat-side up. Brush with olive oil; sprinkle with garlic. Sprinkle with oregano and salt and pepper. Toast under grill 2 – 3 minutes, or until surface turns golden brown and crunchy. Spread each half with equal amounts of pizza sauce. Top with mozzarella. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Evenly distribute sausage crumbles, then top with alternating colors of bell peppers. Toast under grill about 4 – 6 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

Makes two large pizzette.