In The Kitchen

2009 September: Toss Up

2009 September: Toss Up

When I was 18, I tossed my very first pizza. It was my brother, Frank, who taught me the basics. Then I practiced every day. I noticed that customers were amazed when they came into our pizzeria — and back then I really didn’t do much … just a simple toss and catch. It hasMore »

2009 September: Italian Classics

Classic Margherita Pizza

If we do a time machine scenario and zip back to May of 1889, we find Queen Margherita and her husband, King Umberto I, being served pizza at the palazzo in Naples where they were staying. The king and queen had heard about the famous pizzas of Naples, so naturally they wanted to try them.More »

2009 September: The Original

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2009 September: The Original

The Italians take their pizzas seriously, which is why, in June of 1984, Antonio Pace put into writing the precise rules for the preparation of the “veraci” (original) pizzas. He was against the commercial industrialization of the modern day pizza. He was horrified by the ready-to-eat and frozen pizzas that he felt had very littleMore »

Dough Doctor: How does gluten affect dough?

2009 August: Dough Doctor

Gluten is the one thing that holds our dough together. Without it, the dough would be a pasty mix of ingredients, lacking the capability of being shaped, hand-tossed or slapped. Contrary to what a bag of fl our might say, flour does not contain any gluten. Instead, it contains specific wheat proteins which, when agitatedMore »

Old School Sicilian Pizza

2009 August: Old School

What makes a Sicilian pizza a Sicilian pizza? In two words: shape and thickness. A true Sicilian pizza is rectangular. A true Sicilian pizza has a crust that is almost a half-inch thick. How do I know this? I know this because next door to my boyhood home in upstate New York there was anMore »

Pasta Primer: Fettuccine

2009 August: Pasta Primer

This is the time of year that many of us (especially those of us living in the Midwest) go bananas over fresh tomatoes. If I had the time, I would write another cookbook called “101 Ways to Use Fresh Tomatoes.” So this time of year I am constantly coming up with new ways to useMore »

2009 June: Ricotta Revelry

2009 June: Ricotta Revelry

Love it or hate it, ricotta just may be the most versatile cheese found in pizzerias today. Not only is it used in pasta dishes, but it can also be found atop pizzas and in rich, delightful sauces and desserts. It’s important to understand what ricotta comes from and how it’s made. Ricotta is ItalianMore »

The Dough Doctor talks calzones

2009 July: Dough Doctor

From time to time I get requests from readers asking for a dough formula suitable for making calzones. The truth of the matter is that while you can use a specific dough formula for making calzones, your regular pizza dough will work just fine in this application. Let’s start by looking at a dedicated calzoneMore »

Fruitza

Mandarin Pizza

Think fruit pizza and the ubiquitous “Hawaiian” most likely comes to mind. While no one will argue against the popularity of this ham-and-pineapple delight, fruit toppings aren’t limited to pineapple. Consider pears, apples, oranges — even coconut. The operators we interviewed did just that and discovered that fruit not only adds a sweet note toMore »

Summer Specials

Summer Specials

Have fun with this “five-course” summer special: appetizer, salad, pizza, pasta and dessert. I have a lot of recipes to cover, so let’s get right to it. Each of these recipes can be scaled up in direct proportion. ? APPETIZER Mozzarella Cheese Puffs These golden puffs are flavorful and fun. Kids, especially, love these. YouMore »