Game Day Pizza Party

Make these simple and delicious pizza pies this Super Bowl Sunday and serve them with your favorite wine.


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This Super Bowl Sunday swap the usual chips and dip for something a bit more upscale—pizza. No, seriously. These three artisanal pies created by top-notch chefs will elevate game day for your guests. Make one, or all three, and pair them with your favorite vino.

Basic Pizza Dough

¼ ounce active yeast
1 tablespoon white sugar
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, boil 1 cup of water to approximately 110°F. Once boiled, pour it into bowl and add the yeast, mixing it until it’s well combined. Add the sugar and let it sit for 2 minutes, then add the flour and salt. Mix it using your hands (or a stand mixer) until well it’s combined and dough forms a cohesive ball. 

Add two tablespoons of olive oil to another mixing bowl, place dough ball into bowl and coat it well with olive oil. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel rinsed in warm water.  Let dough sit until it rises to twice its original size, approximately 2 hours. 

After dough has risen, punch down and stretch it out until it covers a pizza stone or metal pizza pan. Serves 4–6.

Pie: Pizza Bianca Con Speck

Recipe courtesy Bobby and Amy Oliva, co-owners, Restaurant Joanina, Huntington, New York

At this charming Tuscan farmhouse-style restaurant, guests can order rotating wines that pair perfectly with personal pies. This speck and cheese pizza is a patron favorite and sure to be a big hit on game day. 

1 basic pizza dough
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated
2 cups sautéed cremini, shitake, and porcini mushrooms, mixed (recipe below)
5 slices speck (or substitute with prosciutto)
1 tablespoon truffle oil

Preheat an oven to 450°F.

Spread the pizza dough onto a pizza stone or metal pizza pan. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly and top with the sautéed mushrooms. 

Place into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the crust is just beginning to turn brown. Remove the pizza from oven, top with the speck and return to oven until Speck is crispy, approximately 5 minutes. 

Once ready, remove from the oven and drizzle it with truffle oil. Serve 4–6. 

Sautéed mushrooms:
2 cups thinly sliced cremini, shitake and porcini mushrooms, mixed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a medium size sauté pan set over high heat, add the olive oil and mixed mushrooms and let cook until tender. Once ready, set aside. 

Pairing: Restaurant and bar manager James LaCourte says red or white pairs perfecting with speck pizza. For red fans, he suggests Feudi di San Gregorio’s 2007 Rubrato Aglianico. It’s deep fruit flavors and earthly notes complement the mushroom and speck. For a white wine, LaCourte suggests Sella & Mosca’s 2011 La Cala Vermentino. “The bright floral and citrus flavors provide a counterpoint for the earthiness of the mushroom and truffle.”

Pie: Pastrami Pizza

Recipe courtesy Elizabeth Falkner, owner/chef, Krescendo, Brooklyn, New York and author of Cooking Off the Clock: Recipes from my Downtime (Ten Speed Press, 2012)

With stints on Iron Chef America, Top Chef Masters and Food Network Challenge under her belt, as well as a Italian-focused restaurant, Krescendo, chef Elizabeth Falkner knows a thing or two about how to make a good pizza. This recipe deliciously combines two New York City staples in one dish.

1 basic pizza dough
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces pastrami, thinly sliced

Preheat a grill to high and preheat an oven to 500°F.

Dust a pizza paddle with flour and place the stretched dough onto the paddle. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, then slide the pizza dough onto the hot grill using the paddle. Cook until grill marks appear on the bottom of the dough, about 2 minutes. Flip the dough over, and repeat on the other side. Once both sides are marked, slip the pizza paddle under the crust and remove it from the grill.

In a small mixing bowl, toss the cabbage with the mustard, sald and caraway seeds, and spread over the crust. Sprinkle on the Swiss and Parmesan cheeses, season with salt and pepper, and pile on the pastrami. Slip the pizza off the paddle onto the griddle on the grill for about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and set the pizza on a cutting board. Drizzle with the Russian dressing and cut into slices. Serves 6–8.

Russian dressing:
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ cup canola oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Whisk in the shallot, ketchup, Worcestershire, paprika, celery seed, lemon juice and vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk
in the canola oil and season with salt and pepper; remove from the heat and cool. The dressing can keep, stored in an airtight container, for 1 month in the refrigerator.

Pairing: Chef Falkner also likes to offer her guests a choice between red and white. From Lombardy, she recommends Conti Sertoli’s 2009 Salis Baccalit, with notes of ripe fruit and spice that work well with the hot, slightly sweet pastrami. For a white, go with Ronco dei Tassi’s 2010 Malvasia Istriana from Friuli. The wine’s fruit flavors offer a nice balance to this rich, Eastern European-style pizza.  

Pie: Margherita Pizza

Recipe courtesy Enzo Coccia, owner of La Notizia, Naples, Italy

Pizza Margherita got its name in 1889 when Queen Margherita of Savoy selected the simple combination of tomato, mozzarella, pecorino and basil as her favorite pie.

1 basic pizza dough
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 28-ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes, drained and chopped
4 ounces pecorino romano cheese, coarsely grated
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated
15 fresh basil leaves

Preheat an oven to 450°F.

Spread the pizza dough onto a pizza stone or metal pizza pan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Ladle chopped tomatoes on the dough in a circular fashion, starting in the center and working outwards to the edges. Sprinkle pecorino romano cheese evenly on top, then add the mozzarella cheese. Place the pizza in an oven until the edges turn brown, approximately 10–15 minutes. Top with basil leaves. Serves 4–6.

Pairing: “If it grows together, it goes together,” says Coccia, who prefers to pair this pie with Monte Faliesi’s 2009 Aglianico. “The soft tannins and fresh fruit are perfect with this recipe.” For a white wine, he picks Monte Faliesi’s 2010 Falanghina, which boasts flavors of green apple and rich minerality that pair well with the acidity of tomatoes.

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