La Vera Cucina

Pizza con Escarole Mondragonese

In Providence, RI, Nick DiMartino treats guests at Roba Dolce to flavorful Italian specialties. Growing up in postwar Italy, Nick says his hometown of Mondragone was so poor, locals could afford only enough wood to bake bread in the town’s communal oven every two weeks.

Some of Nick’s fondest memories are of gathering with his entire family around the community oven at the end of Baking Day to enjoy traditional Mondragone style pizza, stuffed with marinated escarole and dandelion greens. Nick says that it is best savored with chunks of tangy pecorino Romano and a hearty homemade red wine!



  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped escarole leaves
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dandelion leaves
  • 2 12″ diameter pizza dough rounds (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup chopped, pitted black or Gaeta olives


In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil and garlic; set aside. Combine chopped escarole and dandelion greens in a medium bowl. Toss with oil and garlic. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, stretch out each dough round to a 12″ diameter circle. Lightly brush the bottom crust with olive oil, leaving a one inch edge around the perimeter dry (no oil). Spread greens evenly over bottom crust; top with chopped olives. Place second pizza round on top, matching edges. Gently crimp edges together to seal. Bake at 500°F, about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Slice and serve immediately, preferably with pieces of pecorino Romano cheese and a hearty red wine!

Makes one 12 inch stuffed pizza.