You think you know a pizza. Then you try it in Italy! Take Pizza al Padellino, the pan pizza of Italy. A look at why it’s unique among Italian pizza. Plus, why going out of your way to try it in Turin, Italy is totally worth it. Hope you’re not too hungry my pizza lovin’ friend. Otherwise you might want to save this article till after lunch.
As a kid growing up in Ohio, nothing made me happier on a Friday night than my own personal pepperoni pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Flash forward some 30 years and imagine my surprise when my Italian father-in-law said he loved Pizza Hut in America.
At first, I honestly didn’t get it. I thought he was joking. After all, he has the world’s best pizza outside his door.
Turns out there is a connection.
Pizza al Padellino is from Turin, Italy
Pan pizza or Pizza al Padellino is not easy to find in Italy. Except in Turin, where it originated. Hence the my father-in-law loving Pizza Hut because Turin is his hometown in Italy.
Various stories are floating around about the origins in Turin. One claims it was Vittorio Emanuele II’s (The first King of Italy) favorite. Meanwhile, my favorite includes a bit of ingenuity.
To save time, a Torinese pizzaiolo prepared his pizzas in advance. To keep the dough from sticking, he put them in a well-oiled pan. Thus he could get his pizzas in the oven faster and still have freshly baked pies.
While the origin of Pizza al Padellino is hazy with time, one thing is always consistent, location. Hence Turin is the home of Pizza al Padellino, where it remains a specialty of the city today.
Here are a few videos about Pizza al Padellino so you can see why I’m raving about it today. The first video is less than a minute so you can see an example quickly. The following videos go more in depth into how it’s made and the history of Pizza al Padellino.
Tip on Italian Language Videos. YouTube has closed captions in multiple languages. Hit play, then click the CC bottom to turn on the closed captions. Next, click the settings button (gear-looking wheel) and click where it says Italian Auto-Generated. Then when the next window comes up, click Auto-translate and select your preferred language. Fair warning, you’re about to be very hungry!
What is Pizza al Padellino?
Padellino is the diminutive form of the word pan in Italian, meaning little pan. Pizza al Padellino (aka Pizza al Tegamino) is a small Italian pan pizza from Turin, Italy.
Unlike most Italian pizzas baked directly on the oven floor, Pizza al Padellino is unique because it’s baked in small, round, oiled pans. Because the pan supports the dough, it rises higher when it bakes.
The result is a soft dough with a crust that crunches like a fried pizza. In other words a sinfully delicious pizza I could not stop eating. Seriously could you? Look at this pizza!
Pizza al Padellino most closely resembles a personal pan pizza in America. That is to say, the portion size is smaller than a typical Neapolitan pizza seen here.
- Pizza in Italy, Why it’s the Best in the World
- Sicilian Pizza, 7 Things That Make Sfincione Different
- Eating in Italy | 25 Do’s, Don’t & Tips to Savor Every Last Bite
Why Americans Will Love It
Americans visiting Italy will love Pizza al Padellino because you can mix and match your toppings. In other words, for personal pan pizza lovers, this is your Italian paradise. Ingredients typically include different types of cheese, meats, and veggies, if you must.
To illustrate, here is a look a the menu board at Padellino Factory in Turin.
As opposed to a more traditional pizzeria menu seen here.
The one seen here was my favorite! Fresh Mozzarella di Bufala and ‘Ndjua, a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from Calabria. The freshness of the Mozzarella balances the spicy ‘Ndjua bite making it a downright addictive combination.
To sum it all up, Pizza al Padellino is an Italian pan pizza that I highly recommend trying in Turin, Italy, where it’s from. Just like my father-in-law loved Pizza Hut in America, Americans will love the familiarity of a pan pizza in Italy. Plus, the ability to personalize a pizza with custom toppings is a win every time for us Americans.
Based on my experience, I recommend Pizza al Padellino at Padellino Factory or Eataly’s Lingotto location. Both offer excellent examples of their hometown pizza.
If you’re reading this, Sis I promise to bring you here on your next trip to Italy. You’ll love it!
Since I’m spending more time in the coming months in Turin, I also promise my friends here at ALOR Italy to share more spots for the best pizzas in Torino. Till then, if you’re looking for the best Pizza al Padellino in Torino, try this list from Taste Atlas.
Subscribe below to get a taste of la dolce vita in your inbox.
This is making our pizza look blah….and making me want a pizza oven…which has already been on my wish list..but it comes with a backyard makeover!!! 😉 Not sure that’s in the cards!
Sounds like it’s time for a new deck of cards (LOL). It honestly blew me away. When I saw it I thought I’d cut into something like a Pizza Hut pizza but the dough is so soft and airy it’s almost pillowy with crunch. Absolute magic. What would you top yours with?
I wish I hadn’t read this right before I went to bed! Trying not to feel hungry right now!
Pizza for breakfast?
No, but it would have been cool