Smoked Mozzarella, Pancetta and Kale Pizza
Smoked cheese, earthy kale and salty pancetta make for an incredibly delicious and unique pizza. If you like a touch of heat, a pinch or two of crushed red pepper is a nice addition. Though it is fun to use homemade dough, frozen dough works well, too. There are some delicious pre-made crusts available, and the time they save can be helpful. Feel free to cut the recipe in half and make just one pizza, although any leftovers taste delicious the next day.

Yields two 10-12 inch round pizzas.


  • 2 (10-12 inch round) pizza prepared crusts or dough to start from scratch
  • 10 slices ((6-7 ounces) pancetta, sliced crosswise into strips
  • 1 large bunch (6-8 ounces) kale, bought stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces Formaggio smoked mozzarelle cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (I used 1/4 teaspoon of each)
  • Olive oil for drizzling (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Flour and cornmeal for dusting if making your own crust


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, stirring often, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate, and drain all but a tablespoon or two of grease from the pan.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, and sauté the garlic in the remaining grease for 30 seconds or until just fragrant. Add the kale and cook until just wilted. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
  4. If not using a pre-cooked crust, form two pizza rounds by rolling out the dough on a lightly floured surface until they are 10 to 12-inches in diameter and about a 1/2 inch thick. You may wish to roll out the second one while the first is baking. Remember to place on the peel or sheet pan before you add toppings. (You may also follow the directions for the gluten-free crust; see linked recipe, above.) Once in the desired shape, place on parchment-lined baking sheets. If using a pizza stone, place the pizzas, one at a time, on a pizza peel–or on a cool, upside-down sheet pan–dusted with cornmeal. Use enough cornmeal so that dough does not stick to the surface.
  5. Drizzle the pizza dough or the prepared crusts with the olive oil. Scatter the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of each pizza, followed by the sautéed kale and crisp pancetta.
  6. Transfer the pizza to the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly. If using precooked crusts, bake for approximately 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  7. Once one pizza is out of the oven, proceed with the second pizza. Cut the pizzas into quarters or eighths. Transfer to plates and serve warm.


  • Bacon would work in place of pancetta, and spinach is a good substitute for the kale.
  • Tip: If not using a baking stone, I like to slide the pizza (that is on parchment paper on the baking sheet) onto a cooling rack immediately after removing from the oven. This prevents the steam from making the bottom of the crust damp or soggy.

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