Pizza Pie!

By • April 26, 2011 • 50 Comments

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Author Notes: A simple pizza or two was sometimes made for family gatherings to celebrate a special occasion. My Grandma Angelo called this pizza, the only kind she made, “the frienda kind.” In fact, she called a lot of things frienda, her Italian slang the best I can explain it, means something that is the most familiar to all.

This recipe is similar to those days gone by; crushed tomato sauce, sautéed garlic, basil, a sprinkle or two of pecorino and an addition of stringy, melt in your mouth cheese over a square yeast dough that bakes airy and crisp – that’s the frienda kind.

Today, I’ve kept this family tradition alive and am known not only for the pizza but for the party moments that goes with it; a feast that is enjoyed by all.

Best served with a large tossed green salad that can be put together in a matter of minutes from what is readily available.
lapadia

Makes 1 square pizza, 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan (easy to make 2 or 3)

  • SAUCE
  • 1 28 oz. can organic Italian crushed tomatoes or 2 lbs fresh plum tomatoes
  • Garlic, finely chopped – to your taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt - to taste
  • 12 fresh basil leaves - chiffonade - optional,I don't always use it my grandmother never did
  • CRUST
  • 1 envelope Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1-1/3 cups warm water
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • CHEESE TOPPING
  • 3 cups grated low moisture whole milk mozzarella
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano - divided in half
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle over the raw dough
  1. SAUCE Heat the olive oil, add the garlic, sauté a minute to soften, add the tomatoes, salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil. Let the sauce cool.
  2. CRUST In a large bowl, combine 3-1/2 cups of the flour, yeast packet and the salt. Add the water until a soft dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary, about 10 minutes.
  4. Lightly coat a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to oil the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft free place and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
  5. Oil a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly-roll type pan. Place the dough in the center of the pan, with your fist flatten. Continue to stretch and flatten the dough to fit the pan. NOTE: You may need to relax the dough; let it rest around 5-10 minute intervals, a couple times, relaxing the dough helps to stretch and flatten. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 1 hour, until puffy and almost doubled.
  6. CHEESE Grate the cheese, set aside until needed.
  7. BAKING THE PIZZA Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  8. With your fingertips, firmly press the dough to make dimples at 1-inch intervals all over the surface. Drizzle a little olive oil over the dough and then the sauce, leaving a ½-inch border all around.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese and then scatter the mozzarella over top. Sprinkle with rest of the grated cheese.
  10. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for about 5-10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned. Let pizza sit for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot.
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Comments (50) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago NoONE

How do I get to the saved recipes? Do I need to print it in order to see it? Because I click on a recipe in the saved recipes, and nothing happens. Thank somebody!

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about 1 month ago lapadia

Hi BB, Assuming you are meaning recipes you have saved already = make sure you are logged in, go to your page by clicking on your name (above), that will take you to "your saved recipes" page. Then go to the category you have saved the recipe you are wanting and click on the recipe to see and or print.
I hope I understood the question. Let us know. :)

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over 3 years ago 76sarah

We make a lot of pizza at home and this is by far the best we've ever made...thank you!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Wow...thanks for your feedback, 76sarah!

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over 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

How wonderful that is an old family recipe and that you have a reputation for making great pizzas. I am still not satisfied with my homemade crust, so I will definitely try your recipe. Thanks for sharing -- your Italian grandmother sounds a lot like mine!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, cookinginvictoria! I am sure you will like this crust...would love your feedback. Love your recipes and stories, and yes, our grandmothers sound a lot alike!

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over 3 years ago vvvanessa

lookin' good, lp!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, V!

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over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

'frienda" indeed! congrats to you for mastering the art of making dough...and sharing a delicious recipe.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thank, lorigoldsby, I see your "rockin oysters" are out here...love them!!!

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over 3 years ago nannydeb

Mmmmmmm!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, nannydeb! I was just looking at your blackberry cake....Mmmmmmmm back to you!!!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Love everything about this, lapadia! It is a little past 11pm here in HI and after reading your head note, I really want some "frienda kind" pizza right now. I'm definitely thinking pizza party this weekend with my family. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, gingerroot! Hope you and your family have a fun weekend "frienda kind" of party!!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

I made this tonight with my two children and it was DELICIOUS! It was also so much fun. We'll definitely be adding this to our list of favorite things to make and eat together. Thank you so much for this recipe, lapadia!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

I love hearing back from you, GR, and so happy a fun and delicious time was had by all! ....I look forward to making your potato salad, love that lemon twist in it! Happy Weekend :)

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over 3 years ago Anna "newbie"

I'm her sister and this is a true story! Luv this recipe!

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over 3 years ago Anna "newbie"

I'm her sister and it's a true story! Every family oughta have a "Cheffy Linda."

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over 3 years ago lapadia

LOL...sistahhhh! Everybody on Food52 does :)

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over 3 years ago lapadia

:)..testing

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over 3 years ago ljwalker53

This pizza has my mouth watering, Linda!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, LJW!

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over 3 years ago spicecat

I love good pizza. Looking forward to making this for my family and friends. Thank you again Linda for sharing with us.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Looking forward to hearing how it goes, spicecat :) !!!

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over 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

I have such a soft spot for these big family (or "frienda" :D )-style pizzas - this looks great!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks so much, lastnightsdinner!

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mmm, this looks so delicious, and absolutely perfect for sharing! And, I love learning the phrase "frienda kind." I'm totally going to start using it!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, fiveandspice! My grandmother will totally be smiling when you use the "friends kind" phrase :)

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

wow... this is one recipe I'd probably have to make every week if I introduce it to my 5 yr old, he LOVES pizza!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, and let me know if you do try it! Yes, when I was young I love it so much, back then, it was usually only made on special occasions :(

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

This looks just like the delicious "Sicilian" style pizza I grew up with in NY. Yum. So nice that you're carrying on the family tradition!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, HK! I like all styles of pizza, but I don't know anybody who will refuse this style pizza...

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Sounds fantaistic! Thanks for sharing, lapadia!!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, mrslarkin! And...seriously, I have the picture of your scones in my mind - as I am typing!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I can taste the love right from the photo.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, boulangere!

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love! Next pizza party is at your house!!! Love that it is a family recipe ... love the Frienda Kind!!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, aargersi!! Pizza party...how fun to coordinate, I have a friend in Texas (Mertzon), my husband and I have been wanting to drive Route66 (is that the one?) on the way to visit her, are you far from there?

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Just looked up Mertzon - that's in the NW corner of Texas in the panhandle, so probably 4-5 hours from here :-( But you could duck up to New Mexico and see White Sands, Riudoso, Gila Nat'l Forest ... that would be fun. I am still looking to see where Rte 66 runs ... anyhoo you could visit her then run down through the hill country / Texas wine country to Central Texas and visit!! That would be FUN!!!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Will fill my husband in :)

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over 3 years ago Midge

Yum!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, Midge! Hope you will try sometime :)

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over 3 years ago wssmom

Just delightful! You had me at the photo .....

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, wssmom! Hope you will get to try this sometime...

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Lapadia, you can have me over for pizza anytime. Just reading your headnote was making me hungry!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, hla! Hmmm...you are not too far south from here, we in the PacNW should coordinate a get together!

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over 3 years ago Bevi

This is a great recipe, and a great backstory!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, Bevi! It was fun to reminisce as I wrote the story...let me know if you try this!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

lapadia, it sounds as if you are a very good "frienda." Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks so much, drbabs! I believe all Food52'ers have a recipe... "the frienda kind" of their own :)