Pizza girlCiao Bella!
Say hello to beautiful pizzas



Don’t quite fit in with the Triangle’s beer and breadsticks crowd? Try a pizza that’s a little more posh.


With a few simple ingredients, you can make your pie more intriguing than the traditional cheese and pepperoni. From BLT to fruit, you can dress up yours with a variety of fun, new flavors.


So if you’re in the mood for a little crunch and a lot of zing, check out these flavorful twists on an Italian classic that you can whip up in your own kitchen.



Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love ItPizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love it

published by William Morrow

Cherry Tomato and Pancetta Pizza


Here's a pizza for all basil-and-tomato lovers. Pancetta is cured, not smoked, Italian bacon. Here, it should be diced into 1/4-inch cubes so they'll turn crunchy when fried.


One (12- to 14-inch) store- bought, prebaked pizza crustCherry Tomato and Pancetta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, diced
6 tablespoons pesto
6 ounces mozzarella, shredded
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza crust on ungreased baking sheet.

Pour olive oil into small skillet and set over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until the edges are a little sizzled, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Spread pesto evenly over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edge. Top with shredded mozzarella. Place cherry tomatoes cut-side up across pizza. Sprinkle pancetta and Parmigiano-Reggiano over pizza.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden. Transfer pizza to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Makes 1 pizza.


BLT Pizza


This pizza is best eaten with a knife and fork. Use only iceberg lettuce; it's got the perfect crunch for this simple dinner.


One (12- to 14-inch) store-bought, prebaked pizza crustBLT Pizza
12 ounces (3/4 pound) pork, beef, turkey or soy bacon strips
1-1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Dijon or honey mustard
6 ounces mozzarella, shredded
1 large beefsteak tomato
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups (about half a large head) iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza crust on ungreased baking sheet.

Fry bacon strips in large skillet over medium heat until they start to turn brown, flipping occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove strips from skillet and chop into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.

Cut tomato into quarters. Gently squeeze pieces over sink, running your fingers into chambers to release seeds and juice. Dice. Set aside.

Spread 1-1/2 tablespoons mustard over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edge. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over crust. Top with tomato and bacon.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden. Transfer pizza to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk remaining mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Add lettuce to bowl and toss until well coated. Top pizza with dressed salad. Cut into wedges.

Makes 1 pizza.

A Tavola!

published by Lebhar-Friedman


A Tavola!“Pizza” Di Spaghetti (Spaghetti Pizza)


Use a good mozzarella such as a mozzarella fiordilatte — made from cow's milk. The pasta should be firm (al dente), since you will finish cooking it in the oven. This is a perfect way to use leftover spaghetti. About 4 or 5 cups of cooked pasta will make 6 servings.


6 ounces dry spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil,
as needed
8 ounces mozzarella, fiordilatte if possible
18 black olives
6 oil-packed anchovies
8 ounces peeled San Marzano tomatoes (a variety of plum tomatoes), crushed by hand into pieces
2 teaspoons Sicilian dry oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as neededSpaghetti Pizza


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook spaghetti in salted water until very al dente. Drain well. Sprinkle with 1/8 cup olive oil. Toss slightly.

Place spaghetti in small casserole dishes for individual servings or in two 8-inch, lightly oiled casseroles. Lightly press spaghetti into flat, even layer.

Cut mozzarella into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Pit olives and thinly slice. Cover spaghetti with mozzarella slices. Divide anchovies between casseroles. Spread crushed tomatoes on top followed by olives, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.

Bake 20 minutes, or until mozzarella has completely melted. Serve very hot.

Makes 6 servings.

Piadina alla Romagnola (Cast-Iron Flat Bread with Squaquarone and Prosciutto)


The piadina is a flat bread, often folded taco-style around various fillings. Squaquarone is a soft, round cheese with a mildly tangy flavor and is a popular filling for piadine.



3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup lard or olive oil, at room temperature, as needed
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2-1/2 cups squaquarone cheese (look in a specialty or ethnic food store) or a combination of cottage and brie
24 thin slices prosciutto


Using your hands, food processor or mixer, combine flour, lard or olive oil, salt and baking powder. Add water slowly. Work dough until smooth and elastic.

Shape dough into a ball and let rest in oiled bowl, lightly covered, for at least 30 minutes. (If dough is too wet, place on floured work surface and knead a little longer.) Cut dough into 6 equal pieces and cover each until ready for use.

On lightly floured surface, shape one piece into a ball. With rolling pin, roll out dough to form 8-inch disk. Place on plate and cover with cloth. Repeat with remaining pieces, stacking them on top of one another. Make sure disks don't stick together.

Heat oven to 250 degrees (to keep finished piadina warm while completing others). Line ovenproof dish with cooking foil.

Grease cast iron pan with oil or lard. Place over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, place 1 disk of dough in pan. Cook 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Flip piadina and cook other side 20 to 30 seconds.

Transfer piadina to foil-lined plate as they are finished and keep warm in oven. Proceed with remaining dough until all piadina are cooked.

Spread 3 tablespoons cheese over half of each piadina. Top each with 4 slices prosciutto. Fold piadina in half. Serve.

Makes 6 servings.

BThe Berghoff Cafe CookbookThe Berghoff Cafe Cookbook

published by Andrews McMeel


Berghoff Veggie Pizza


Spinach loses volume in cooking, so if you like a little spinach, use the 6-ounce bag. If you prefer a lot of spinach, go for the 10-ounce bag, but cook that in 2 batches.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced yellow onion, cut 1/8-inch thick
4 cups sliced red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rings (about 2 large peppers)
One (6-ounce) bag ready-to-use baby spinach or one (10-ounce) bag ready-to-use spinach

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
One (10-by-15-inch) Homemade Pizza Crust (see recipe) or one (12- to 14-inch) store-bought, prebaked pizza crust
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheeseBerghoff Veggie


Heat oven to 425 degrees.

In 12-inch nonstick pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender and translucent.

Add bell pepper and cook, stirring, until tender and soft. Add spinach in 2 batches and cook, stirring, until it wilts. Sprinkle with salt. Remove pan from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, on lightly floured surface, use rolling pin to roll 1 pizza crust dough (half of recipe) into 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Alternatively, use store-bought crust. Spray baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and place crust on pan.

In small bowl, mix remaining oil with garlic. Scrape mixture onto crust and brush to cover. Cover crust evenly with 1 cup cheese. Using tongs, lift veggies from pan and distribute evenly over cheese. (Leave any juices in the pan.)

Sprinkle remaining cheese over pizza. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until crust is cooked through and cheese is golden brown.


Makes 8 servings.


Homemade Pizza CrustPizza crust

This simple dough can be mixed by hand, in a standing mixer or in a food processor. You can make plain dough or flavor it with caraway seeds, Italian herbs or black pepper.


3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional as needed
2-1/4 teaspoons quick-rising or instant active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups warm water, 110 degrees
2 tablespoons olive oil


In a 6-quart bowl, whisk flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add water and oil. Stir with large spoon until dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl. Flouring your hands and adding additional flour as needed, knead dough in bowl until smooth and satiny, 8 to 10 minutes.

Spray top of dough with nonstick cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm (85 degrees) place until dough has doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.

Place flour, yeast, sugar and salt in work bowl of large-capacity (14-cup) food processor, fitted with plastic dough blade. Pulse. Combine water and oil in measuring cup and, with motor running, pour through feed tube and process just until dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl.

Turn out on lightly floured surface, shape into ball and place in large bowl lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spray top of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough has doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.

Makes 2 crusts for 10-by-15-inch pizzas.


Better Homes and Gardens Budget-Friendly MealsBetter Homes and Gardens Budget-Friendly Meals
published by Wiley

Tuna and Roasted Sweet Pepper Pizza


Alfredo sauce, refrigerated or canned, is on its way to becoming a kitchen staple. Add pizza topping to the list of terrific dishes the creamy sauce helps create.


One (13.8-ounce) package refrigerated pizza doughTuna and Roasted Sweet Pepper Pizza
One (10-ounce) container refrigerated Alfredo pasta sauce
One (6- or 6.5-ounce) can chunk white tuna (water pack), drained and broken into chunks
1 cup bottled, roasted red sweet peppers, drained and cut into bite-size strips
1 tablespoon capers, drained (optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)


Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease large baking sheet. Unroll pizza dough and transfer to baking sheet. Press dough into a 15-by-11-inch rectangle. Build up edges slightly. Prick generously with fork. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Spread Alfredo sauce over hot crust. Top with tuna, roasted peppers and capers. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes more, or until cheese melts and pizza is heated through.

Makes 4 servings.

Buffalo Chicken Pizzas


If the Southwest-flavor chicken breast strips aren't hot enough for you, add a few drops of bottled hot pepper sauce or buffalo wing sauce to your pizza.


4 pita bread rounds Buffalo Chicken
1/4 cup bottled blue cheese salad dressing
One (9-ounce) package refrigerated Southwest-flavor cooked chicken breast strips
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
Blue cheese crumbles
Bottled hot pepper sauce or buffalo wing sauce (optional)


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pita rounds on baking sheet. Brush with blue cheese dressing. Scatter chicken strips and celery on dressing.

Bake 10 minutes, or until heated through and pitas are crisp. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles. If desired, serve with hot pepper sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can CookBetter Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Cook: Step-By-Step Recipes Just for You
published by Wiley


Dessert Fruit Pizza


To make in advance, prepare the crust, the cream cheese mixture and the fruit. Cool and wrap the crust in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cream cheese mixture and the fruit separately. Assemble the pizza just before serving to keep the crust from getting soggy.


One (16- to18-ounce) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
One (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup amaretto or 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted
2 cups assorted fresh fruit, such as halved green and/or red grapes, sliced kiwifruit, sliced mango, sliced or chopped melon, sliced peaches, raspberries and sliced strawberriesDessert Pizza
2 tablespoons honey (optional)


Heat oven to 375 degrees. For crust, line 12-inch pizza pan with foil. Pat cookie dough evenly onto foil-lined pan. Build up edges slightly. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are light brown and center appears set. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Invert cooled crust onto baking sheet; remove foil. Place serving platter over inverted crust. Invert platter and crust together.

In medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, amaretto (or milk and extract) and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in almonds. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over top of cookie crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Top with assorted fresh fruit. If desired, drizzle with honey.

Makes 8 servings.