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Recipe: Heart Shaped Pizza

Flowers arranged… check, candles lit…check, music playing in the kitchen…check. Now pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. 

For an easy night in with your sweetheart, here are some steps for a delicious Valentine’s (or any special day’s) meal that you can make with your honey, or your special little ones! Or, ladies, have a Galentines night with your favorite pals and a bottle or two of red wine. Four Graces Pinot Noir would go great with a homemade pizza!

Best Pizza Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 TB regular Olive Oil 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 TB)
  • 2 (32oz) cans of San Marzano chopped tomatoes. (Spurge on San Marzano… you won’t be disappointed.)
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium-sized saucepan, add the olive oil and warm it over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for one to two minutes until golden, not brown. Then, add the two cans of chopped tomatoes and stir. Finally, add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until bubbling then turn the heat to simmer while you roll the pizza dough. 

Tricks to Prepare the Perfect Crust

  1. For a perfect, crispy crust and to make removing the pie easier after baking, prep the pan or stone by sprinkling a little cornmeal all over it.
  2. To roll the dough, make sure it’s at room temp first. Cover it in a bowl and let it sit for an hour or two on the counter.
  3. Sprinkle some flour on the roller and the rolling surface before you start rolling so the dough does not stick. Flour your hands first if you are attempting to hand-toss your dough. This could be fun! I’d watch a YouTube video first.
  4. Start from the middle of the dough and roll outward in all directions to spread the dough to the desired size and thickness. For a heart shape, you can use your hands or the roller to spread/knead the upper areas into a heart shape. 
  5. The dough will spring back at first but keep at it. Repeat your rolling and kneading until you have your shape. 
  6. Wait until you transfer the dough to the pizza pan /stone that you are going to cook on before you put on the sauce and toppings.
  7. Invest in a pizza dough paddle (called a peel) to transfer the dough from your rolling surface to the pan. You can use this again to retrieve the pizzas from the cooking stone once you are a pro. 

Now for the Toppings

For a traditional pizza, first, take a ladle full of pizza sauce and spread a thin layer on your pizza dough. Don’t put too much or your pizza will be soggy. Leave about an inch from the edge so it doesn’t run over while cooking. Next layer shredded or sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, you can add a bit of real Parmesan Reggiano to kick up the flavor. 

Some favorite traditional American toppings I have used with red pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese are:

  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • cooked ground Italian sausage
  • sliced pepperoni
  • red or green peppers
  • cooked bacon
  • cooked ground beef

Here are some tried and true Italian-style variations for a more adventurous take on pizza:

  • red sauce, mozzarella, calamata olives, sliced ham, mushrooms, olive oil, and artichokes (Capricciosa)
  • red sauce, fresh sliced mozzarella, basil leaves, and olive oil (Margherita)
  • tomato sauce topped with four kinds of cheese; Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano, and Pecorino (Quattro Formagi)
  • red sauce, pecorino cheese, bell pepper, anchovies, fresh basil leaves (Toscana)
  • red sauce, mozzarella, garlic, salami, hot peppers, olive oil (Siciliana)

For more pizza toppings, homemade dough instructions, and inspiration from all over the world go here.

I want someone to look at me the same way I look at pizza.


The Final Touches

Cook the pizza until you see the cheese and sauce bubbling in the middle. I like to take a towel and a long spatula and lift the corner while it’s cooking to see if the crust is browned on the bottom. You can adjust your temperature if the toppings are browning too quickly. Let it cool a minute or two before slicing so that that cheese sets and you don’t burn your mouth. I like mine more room temp anyway!

Finally, Dinner would not be complete without your favorite beverages and dessert. Some nice accompaniments to pizza are sparkling water, Prosecco, or Champagne, and for a sweet treat some chocolate-covered strawberries or cheesecake. Mangia! Enjoy!


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