Pizza Recipes

Roman “Pinsa” Pizza with Bolognese Recipe

Side view of Roman pinsa pizzas with bolognese on a cutting board

Devour a slice of the ancient Roman “pinsa” pizza right at home! The light, crisp crust is the highlight of this oblong-shaped pizza. It’s topped with a zingy and herbaceous tomato sauce. Then some melting mozzarella cheese. Finally a thick, classic bolognese sauce. All making this pinsa a gourmet treat!

The tale of pizza in Rome began in the 18th century with the “pizzette.” These roughly prepared pizzas were affordable and hearty lunch options for the lower class. Veggies, cheese, and olive oil were the standard toppings. Traditionally, the famous “tomato” was not used in Roman pizza. Now, in the 21st century, several variations of Roman-style pizza can be found. Many including tomatoes.

Ooni Pizza Ovens


Roman pinsa pizza packs a ton of flavor. The secret to its satisfying taste and texture lies within the ingredients.

  • Flour
  • Tomato
  • Dried herbs
  • Ground beef
  • Red wine
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper

Pinsa’s unique taste comes from flour and long hours of proofing. It is prepared with 4 different flours. Wheat, rice, soy, and spelt. The rice flour gives it a crunchy texture. While the others add a touch of earthy nuttiness to the pizza dough.

In this recipe you’ll find whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, tomato puree, and tomato paste. San Marzano’s sweet flavor and mellow acidity elevate the pizza sauce exceptionally. While the tomato puree and paste give the bolognese a thick tanginess.

Ground beef adds a lovely meatiness to the bolognese. The trick is to simmer the sauce for 2-3 hours. Ground meat is usually made from tougher cuts and requires time to soften. Additionally, the simmering allows the meat to absorb the flavors from the sauce. These include onion, garlic, dried herbs, and tomato.

A staple ingredient in bolognese is red wine. Use half a cup of red wine with the meat sauce. This infuses a robust flavor. It also assists in balancing the acidity of tomatoes. If you prefer a fruity taste, add white wine instead.

The palate-pleasing heat in the thick bolognese comes from chili powder and pepper. This will not add too much heat to the pizza. Just enough to taste it.

Top view of whole Roman pinsa pizza on wood cutting board

Notes for Roman pinsa pizza

Prepare the pinsa dough 2 days prior to making the pizza. The dough needs a longer proofing time to get the authentic rubbery texture. Additionally, chefs say you can proof the pinsa dough for up to 120 hours!

Mix a teaspoon of balsamic glaze into the pizza sauce to add a rich and complex sweetness. Balsamic glaze is a thick sauce-like reduction achieved by cooking down balsamic vinegar.

Ooni Stack

Substitutions for Roman Pizza

Swap the wine in the meat Bolognese with an equal portion of beef stock. The stock has a strong beefy taste. This is from slow cooking the bones, meat, and fat. It adds a depth of flavor to a bolognese.

You may opt for pre-cooked Roman pinsa. These Pinsa’s are partially cooked crusts. Just assemble and cook for 5-7 minutes at your oven’s maximum temperature. On the other hand, you can also buy pre-made pizza dough and use it in place of the pinsa.

Topping Ideas

This recipe makes 5 Roman pinsa crusts. Top each differently for a flavorsome feast!

Vegetarian and fruit pizzas:

  • Classic Margherita pizza. Includes a pizza sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil.
  • Cottage cheese pizza, aka Paneer pizza. Includes a marinara sauce base. Topped with mozzarella, Indian spiced cottage cheese and veggies. This is one of our favorites!
  • Ricotta fruit and nut pizza. Includes a ricotta cream base. Then topped with fresh fruit, mixed nuts, and honey.
  • Gorgonzola and walnut pizza. Topped with shredded mozzarella, gorgonzola cheese, grapes and more.
Top view of sliced Roman pinsa pizza with bolognese

Seafood and meat pizzas:

  • Anchovy and caper pizza. Includes a pizza sauce base. Then topped with mozzarella, anchovies, capers and veggies.
  • Salmon and cream cheese pizza. Includes a cream cheese base. Then topped with mozzarella, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, smoked salmon, and more.
  • Salami and Brussel sprout pizza. Includes a tomato sauce base. Then topped with buffalo mozzarella, Brussel sprouts, salami, arugula and more.
  • Pesto Pancetta pizza. Includes a pesto sauce base. Then topped with mozzarella, pancetta, and sliced tomatoes.

How to make Roman pinsa pizza

  1. Make the dough – Sieve the flours into the bowl of a stand mixer. In a separate bowl, combine the yeast with a little warm water. Add the yeast liquid to the stand mixer plus most of the water. Knead for 6 minutes then add the salt and olive oil while mixing an additional 3 minutes. The pizza dough should be soft. If not add more water. Set aside for 30 minutes while folding the dough every 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a lid and proof for 48 hours in the refrigerator, turning once halfway through. Remove from fridge a couple hours before using. Cut the dough into 5 equal parts and shape into dough balls. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Prepare the Bolognese – Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and carrots. cook a couple minutes before adding garlic and seasonings. Once the garlic has created its nutty aroma, pour in the ground beef. Break up and cook for 10-15 minutes. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan and scrape any bits. Cook for 3-4 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate. Add in tomato puree and mix well. Followed by the tomato paste, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 2 hours. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Assemble the pizza – Begin by blending the tomatoes into a puree to make a pizza sauce. Add the salt and other seasonings. Pulse a few times to combine. Stretch out your dough balls into flat ovals. Place onto the baking sheet. Spread spoonful’s of sauce, cheese and Bolognese. Sprinkle on some parmesan and bake for about 10 mins at 475 degrees F. Remove and repeat with the remaining pizzas.

Roman pinsa pizza FAQ

What is Roman Pinsa Pizza?

It is a light oval-shaped pizza crust. Then topped with herb-seasoned tomato sauce, mozzarella, meat bolognese, and parmesan. The outstanding element is the base “pinsa,” which is entirely different from a standard pizza crust. Various toppings can be added as per preference.

How is pinsa different from a standard pizza crust?

Compared to a New york style pizza crust, pinsa is more airy and light. Plus it is easy to digest. The dough has a distinct taste as it is prepared using wheat, soy, rice, & spelt flour. The incredible texture comes from using ‘lievito madre’, a firm sourdough starter. Then proofing it for 2-4 days. And cooking the pizza at a lower temperature.

Are there other types of Roman Pizza?

Yes. Pizza Al Taglio and Romano Tonda are two chief pizza variarians relished in Rome. Pizza Al Taglio has a foccaccia type fluffy crust. It is prepared in a large rectangular cast iron pan, cut into squares, & sold by the piece. Tomatoes, basil, olives, mortadella, and fresh burrata cheese are common toppings. Romano Tonda is round and has an even crispier crust. Plus the toppings spread to the edges.

More Pizza Recipes

Roman “Pinsa” Pizza Recipe

Recipe by Pizza Poster Course: Main, AppetizersCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium, Difficult


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This Roman Pinsa pizza dough is light and airy. It’s then topped with a San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and beef Bolognese. This recipes makes 5 pizzas. So enjoy it with friends and family!

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  • For the Pinsa
  • 2 1/2 cups 2 1/2 wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 rice flour

  • 4 Tbsp 4 spelt flour

  • 2 Tbsp 2 soy flour

  • 1 tsp 1 sugar

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1/3 tsp 1/3 active dry yeast

  • 1 3/4 cups 1 3/4 cold water (use more if needed)

  • 1 tsp 1 olive oil

  • For the meat bolognese
  • 1 lb 1 ground beef

  • 2 Tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 1 1 red onion (chopped)

  • 1 1/2 tsp 1 1/2 garlic (minced)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 carrot (grated)

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 chili powder

  • 1 tsp 1 dried basil

  • 1 tsp 1 dried oregano

  • 1 tsp 1 dill

  • 1 tsp 1 parsley

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 red wine or beef broth

  • 1 cup 1 tomato puree

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp 1 1/2 tomato paste

  • 1 1 bay leaf

  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

  • For the sauce
  • 1 can 1 San Marzano tomatoes 15oz (strained)

  • 2 tsp 2 dried oregano

  • 1 1/2 tsp 1 1/2 dried basil

  • 1 tsp 1 garlic powder

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1 tsp 1 pepper

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp 1 1/2 extra virgin olive oil

  • Toppings
  • 3 3 balls of buffalo mozzarella cheese (shredded)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Parmesan


  • To make the dough/pinsa
  • Sieve the flour (wheat, rice, spelt, & soy) into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix in the sugar.
  • In a small bowl, mix the dry yeast with 2 tablespoons of water until dissolved.
  • Pour in the yeast liquid followed by 1 1/2 cups of water into the flour. Knead for 6 minutes at medium speed.
  • Add the salt. Knead for 2 more minutes.
  • Next, add the olive oil & knead for 1 minute. At this stage, check if the dough feels softer than usual pizza dough. If not, then add the remaining ¼ cup of water. Knead for 10-11 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl & set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature. At every 10 minutes intervals, fold the dough in the bowl.
  • Next, transfer the dough to a container with a well-fitted lid. Keep it in the refrigerator for 48 hours. After 24 hours, fold the dough nicely in the container. Then flip it, lock the lid, and leave it in the refrigerator to complete the proofing process.
  • On pizza day, remove the dough 2-3 hours early and keep it at room temperature.
  • Place the dough on a flour-dusted working surface and fold it once. Then, divide it into 5 equal parts, roll into smooth balls, and cover with a towel to rest for 1 hour.
  • To cook the meat bolognese
  • Heat the oil in a 12” skillet on medium heat.
  • Add the onion and carrots. Stir cook for a few minutes.
  • Season with garlic, chili powder, basil, oregano, dill, parsley, salt, & pepper. Mix well for a minute.
  • Now, add the ground beef. Break the meat chunks with the spatula and cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir regularly.
  • Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan. Scrape any bits from the bottom. And cook off all the alcohol, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the tomato puree. Combine well & let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the tomato paste and bay leaf. Mix nicely and cover the pan. Let it simmer for 2 hours. Stir at regular intervals.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Discard the bay leaf.
  • To assemble the pizza
  • Preheat your oven to 475° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prepare the sauce by processing or blending the strained tomatoes into a smooth puree. Add in the dried oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, & olive oil. Pulse 2-3 times to combine.
  • Pull a dough ball and stretch it to achieve an oval-shaped flatbread. Place it on the lined baking sheet. (You can fit 2 pinsa crust on a baking sheet.)
  • Spread spoonfuls of the pizza sauce, layer with shredded mozzarella cheese, and top with dollops of the meat bolognese. Finish with sprinkling some Parmesan on top.
  • Set the baking sheet in the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 9-11 minutes.
  • Your Roman pizza is ready. Slice each one into 4 pieces using a pizza cutter, and serve immediately.



  • Serivong size = 2 slices
    Calories: 789 | Protein: 62.82g | Fat: 24.13g | Carbs: 85.48g | Fiber: 14.2g | Sugar: 12.05g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1716mg | Potassium: 1338mg

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