Massimiliano Saieva may have honed his restaurant management skills at McDonald’s, but his talents have earned him a spot in the pantheon of Roman-style pizza gods. The Palermo, Italy-born Saieva co-founded the now-defunct Pizzarium: A Slice of Rome in Miami and now serves as lead instructor at the Roman Pizza Academy in the same city. So when PMQ sought out recipes from our readers for the June 2016 issue, Saieva was the natural choice for a Roman-style entry. And his Butternut Squash pie did not disappoint!

Related: Check out more amazing pizza recipes from PMQ’s readers here.

Roman-Style Butternut Squash Pizza – Submitted by Massimiliano Saieva



  • 1kg “00” Italian flour
  • 800g water
  • 7g natural yeast
  • 18g Italian sea salt
  • 22g Italian extra-virgin olive oil


  • 600g butternut squash cream
  • 250g mozzarella
  • 250g round pancetta
  • 250g smoked Gouda
  • Spray of water
  • Parsley
  • Butternut Squash Cream
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 100g Stracchino cheese
  • 50g water
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 2 pinches white pepper

Dough Preparation

Add flour, yeast and 80% of the water in a large bowl or mixer and mix for 2 minutes. Then add the salt, remaining water and oil; continue mixing until the mass is thoroughly combined and no longer sticks to the sides of the container. Be careful not to overwork or overheat the dough during this process, which should take no longer than 20 minutes. Cover and let it rise for 48 hours in the refrigerator. After the leavening process is complete, make a 1,300g dough ball and let it rise for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Place the dough ball on a 16”-by-24” baking sheet. Hand-stretch it gently, making sure the dough is evenly stretched to all sides of the baking tray.

Pizza Preparation

To make the butternut squash cream, boil red onion, carrot and butternut squash until soft. Add white pepper to softened onion, carrot and squash and mix in an immersion blender. Add Stracchino cheese and water and mix again until a thick, creamy texture has been achieved. Grate whole nutmeg seed over the cream.

Spread 600g of the cream on the dough. Place 50g of the mozzarella cheese on top of the layer of cream. Add pancetta, smoked Gouda and an additional 200g of mozzarella. Hit the pizza with a spray of water from a vaporizer. Bake at 310°F to 320°F for 10 to 12 minutes, until crust is crispy. After baking, add parsley before serving.

Food & Ingredients, Recipes