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Let's Make Tiella!

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

This Tiella is a savory pie, often referred to as a stuffed pizza, from the city of Gaeta. In this recipe, we'll show you how to make it stuffed with onions, although other versions call for octopus, squid, spinach, mussels, and many others

The Tiella di Gaeta is one of Italy's most famous street foods. It is named after the beautiful city of Gaeta but is widespread throughout the lower Lazio.

The tiella is a stuffed pizza filled with various flavors, the most classic: escarole and olives (obviously from Gaeta!), octopus and tomato, squid, onion and tomato, spinach, mussels, and many others.

The name comes from the round teglia (hence tiella), or baking sheet used to bake tielle. A disc of dough is placed in the teglia, filling is placed on top and then a second disc of dough is placed over the filling.

Originally it was a poor dish prepared with leftovers that fishers and farmers used to eat during long working days.


Tiella with Onions

Ingredients for the dough

  • 200 grams bread flour

  • 300 grams all-purpose flour

  • 10 gr salt

  • 250 gr water

  • 25 gr lard or olive oil

  • 2 tsp yeast

  • 1 tsp sugar

Ingredients for the filling

  • 6 medium onions

  • 1 tomato

  • salt

  • oil

  • chili pepper (to taste)



Make the Dough

  1. In a small bowl combine sugar, the yeast and 100gr of lukewarm water (32 - 38°C.) and stir until the yest dissolves.

  2. Then add 50 g of all-purpose flour and stir the mixture. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes to activate the yest.

  3. In the meantime, in a medium bowl combine the rest of the flours and the water, the salt and the lard (or olive oil).

  4. Add the activated yeast and knead the dough until it is smooth & elastic (about 5 minutes).

  5. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk (1:30 hr. or more)

Prepare the Filling

  1. Slice onions finely; sauté them in a large pan with a little bit of olive oil, a good pinch of salt and the chili pepper.

  2. When they start to soften, add the chopped tomato.

  3. Cook onions and tomato until they are very tender and dry.

Make the Tiella and Bake!

  1. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 400° F.

  2. Divide the dough into two equal parts.

  3. Take one half and roll it out or stretch it with your hands until it's about 1/4-inch thick.

  4. Place on a greased baking pan.

  5. Spread the onion and tomato mixture evenly.

  6. Roll out or stretch the rest of the dough to roughly the same size and shape and lay it over the top, pulling the edges to meet up.

  7. Seal the edges by gently pressing down.

  8. Brush the entire surface of the crust with olive oil.

  9. Poke holes all over the top of the dough with a fork and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown on top and cooked on the bottom. (SUGGESTION: place the tiella in the lower part of the oven for the first 15 minutes and then move it in the middle).


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