Blog Post

For the Love of Pizza!

Hot Pizza Fresh from the Oven

Hot Pizza Fresh from the Oven

At home, my husband Peter is the pizza maker, or as they say in Italy, the pizzaiolo. He loves firing up the oven and calling over a few friends. This spells holiday for me as we enjoy amazing pizza in the backyard.

Peter is often experimenting with different dough recipes, yet our favorite dough is still the Neapolitan, (click here for recipe). Growing up in Naples made me appreciate the consistency and the wider rim of this pizza.

A word about flour and mozzarella cheese:

  • Pizza dough made from good quality organic white flour has the best taste. You may also like the Hudson Cream flour, check it out.
  • Bel Gioioso fresh mozzarella cheese is what I buy because it has the right firmness needed for cooking in the wood fired oven. You can usually find it at Costco for a great price. Cut it in small cubes, rather than shredding it, this will prevent it burning in the hot oven. The mozzarella balls in water are too “wet” I find for use as a pizza topping.

Truffle and Arugula Pizza — Peter’s Favorite

Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Topping, enough for garnishing one pizza pie:

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in cubes
  • 4 slices of Italian fontina cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 handful of fresh arugula leaves
  • Truffle oil
  • Optional: 3 slices of prosciutto

Garnish with the mozzarella and fontina cheeses and place in the 650 to 750 degrees oven. Give the pizza a quick turn with the pizza turner after about 1.5 minutes and then slide out of the oven when ready, about another minute and a half.

When the pizza comes out of the oven piping hot, sprinkle the parmesan cheese, add the truffle oil, and sprinkle a handful of fresh arugula on top. Optional: add prosciutto slices.

Red Onion and Bell Pepper Pizza — Anna’s Favorite

Generally speaking, pizzas are topped with crushed tomato sauce straight from the can, but in this instance, I like the sweeter taste of cooked tomato sauce coupled with red peppers and onions.

Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Topping, enough for garnishing two pizza pies:

  • 1 can peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic red vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in cubes
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves

Brown onion and bell pepper with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. When the onion and pepper have softened, add the balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook, uncovered on low heat, for about another 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Make your favorite tomato sauce. Here’s what I do for a simple tomato sauce. Fish out the peeled tomatoes from the can and reserve the juice for other use. Slice the tomatoes. In a saucepan add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and one clove of garlic. Add the sliced tomatoes, on low flame, let the sauce come together nice and thick, for about 15-20 minutes. Salt to taste.

Spoon tomato sauce on pizza with circular motion. Add the mozzarella cheese evenly. Add the cooked onions and bell peppers, but avoid the juice as this will wet the dough too much. Slide the pie in the oven and bake. Add the basil leaves to the piping hot pizza just out of the oven.

Buon appetito!

Related Posts

Happy New Pizza!

We started the year stumbling upon a great pizza... Peter wanted to try a

Looking Back, Looking Forward

A heartfelt thank you to all our friends and customers who share our passion

Getting Ready…One, Two, Three, Testing

Thanksgiving is around the corner and if you are planning to bake your holiday

Build a Good Fire

  Even in California the fall is showing off its first chill and some rain.

After the Fires… a Good Fire.

All our outdoor activity stopped for a long week as heat and forest fires

A Summer Birthday

Our friend Mike had his birthday party over the weekend and we brought one

Pomodori al Forno

It is so much fun to harvest in the garden early on a summer

Wood-Fired Goodness

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and there's going to be a whole lot

Life is Sweet

We've had such a spell of wonderful weather here in Los Angeles... the cool

Spring Around “Il Forno”

As spring vegetables make their appearance here in California, I get excited about fennel.


In Italy I got accustomed to good, organic produce and it is a vital

Two Words for 2009: Buon Appetito!

The Italian in me has the same attitude come good or bad times: let's

Christmas Around the Oven

In California we can pretty much entertain outdoors almost all year round and I

Chestnuts and Mushrooms

Fall is the season for harvesting and storing, for bundling up and sitting around

In the Beginning…

My fascination with wood fired ovens began in Italy.In the early seventies my parents