Speedy Romeo's Grilled Pizza with Marinated Tomatoes & Ricotta

May 23, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes two 12-inch pizzas
Author Notes

This recipe might look long, but none of the steps are complicated, and you can streamline if you like (skip the herb oil, and buy really good quality ricotta). The most important part is getting ripe, in-season tomatoes, and tasting this summery combination for yourself, which will turn your idea of what pizza can be on its head. Also note: you can adapt for a grill pan or even broil the dough. Recipe adapted from Speedy Romeo Chef/Owner Justin Bazdarich. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • For the Ricotta, Marinated Tomatoes & Herb Oil
  • 2 quarts farm-fresh whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 small heirloom tomatoes, chopped into large pieces, core removed
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed whole
  • 15 basil leaves, torn roughly
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • For the Pizza
  • Hot grill with the flame off set to one side—wood-burning preferred
  • two 8-ounce pieces of your favorite pizza dough, stretched to 12 inches
  • Herb Oil (from above)
  • Ricotta (from above)
  • Marinated Tomatoes (from above)
  • Basil leaves for garnish
  • Lemon juice for garnish
  • Olive oil for garnish
  • Ground chile flakes for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt for garnish
  1. For the Ricotta, Marinated Tomatoes & Herb Oil
  2. For the Ricotta: Combine the milk, heavy cream, and 2 tablespoons of the salt in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very low simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon so that the bottom of the pot does not scald. When the slow simmer starts, stir in the lemon juice and bring back to a slow simmer. Shut off the heat and let the pot stand for ten minutes. Skim off the separated curd and place in a colander lined with cheesecloth for 5 minutes. Take out of cheesecloth and reserve at room temperature, covered.
  3. For the Marinated Tomatoes: Combine the tomatoes, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of the salt, the sugar, garlic, and basil in a nonreactive bowl and let stand at room temperature for at least one hour before use.
  4. For the Herb Oil: Tie the rosemary and thyme sprigs together with butcher’s twine and place in a small pot, herb ends down. Pour the olive oil in the pot and bring the oil to a low temperature, just until you see the herbs start to sizzle a little and you can smell the herbs. Set aside and keep warm. This can be done on top of the grill. You’ll have lots leftover—sauté zucchini with it, dunk bread in it, pour over salads, and so on.
  1. For the Pizza
  2. Make sure your grill grates are brushed clean and oiled. Place the dough on the grill near the fire and brush the top with the herb oil lightly. With tongs, rotate the dough so that the bottom begins to brown and crisp evenly.
  3. Once you see the dough start to bubble on top and you can feel the bottom of the dough become firm and crispy, flip over and place directly on top of the fire. The olive oil will flame up slightly but that is okay. If it seems too aggressive, pull it off for a second and only place it back so that the dough gets some char and looks appealing.
  4. Take off the grill and place on a board or platter, bottom-side down, and immediately spread ricotta on top evenly. Scatter the tomatoes on top, allowing some of the liquid to get on the pizza as well. Tear basil leaves over the pizza to garnish. Finish with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of chili flake to taste, and some sea salt to finish. Cut into 4 to 8 pieces and enjoy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Robert Allocca
    Robert Allocca
  • LittleMissMuffin
  • samanthaalison
  • Beth Theobald
    Beth Theobald
  • Gina Hemmings
    Gina Hemmings
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

27 Reviews

Ruby August 9, 2023
Speedy does NOT include making my own ricotta. Fuss & muss. Change to buy ricotta & decent. Have you heard about easy peasy pizza? Focaccia from local bakery (has sauce on) add shredded cheese bake 10 minutes. Now that’s easy & yummy.
Anne G. June 7, 2023
I use Ina Garten’s homemade ricotta recipe and always turns out delicious!
You need to make sure the grill is very hot (around 450 degrees) for this method to work. I prepare my pizza with all its toppings on a pizza peel and slide it off right on to the grill. Watch carefully, it cooks very fast! You can rotate it using the pizza peel.
Robert A. May 28, 2017
To make one's own ricotta is crazy, too expensive and never as good as store bought. Good tomatoes do not need sugar. Herb oil ?? good olive is fine.
Ruby August 9, 2023
LittleMissMuffin October 18, 2016
Please update the recipe to indicate you cannot use ultra-pasteurized milk and cream. From other things I've read on the internet, apparently it won't curdle.
LittleMissMuffin October 17, 2016
I made this again today and didn't have any cheese so I attempted to make the ricotta. Not sure what went wrong but it remained a liquid. Never got any curd at all. I tríed heating again thinking it hadn't come to enough of a simmer but still just liquid. I drizzled some on the pizza and trashed the rest.
Allison C. May 28, 2017
I agree with Robert above. Why make ricotta when you can buy perfectly good ricotta at the market? This is a simple grilled Margarita pizza that is made way more complicated than need be.
I have made fresh ricotta, and I have never been able to buy store-bought that taste anywhere near as delicious
samanthaalison September 19, 2016
I made this exactly as written. Next time I'd skip the herb oil - I honestly couldn't taste it at all. I'd also cut the tomatoes a bit smaller and use half a tablespoon less salt. But this recipe is definitely phenomenal.
samanthaalison September 15, 2016
Any suggestions for a pizza dough recipe? I usually use a no knead dough, but I'm not sure if that might be too wet for throwing on the grill.
samanthaalison September 19, 2016
I ended up using Kenji's recipe: It makes twice as much as you need for this.
Beth T. September 11, 2016
This was sadly too salty. It took away from the amazing tomatoes. I will make again, but with far less vinegar and salt.
Gina H. September 7, 2016
This was amazing. I used store bought ricotta but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The tomatoes were out of this world and I could see so many other uses for them.
Elise September 2, 2016
Sounds delicious definitely giving this a try.
LittleMissMuffin August 29, 2016
Oh I used cheap balsamic too. And I halved the tomato marinade for 4 large heirloom tomatoes. Perfect.
LittleMissMuffin August 29, 2016
This was really yummy. And I used mozzarella since that's all I had (so I had to actually cook it a little with cheese). The tomatoes are a little salty but it really is the perfect topping for pizza, used as a scooper for an undressed salad of arugula/corn/avocado/carrots/quinoa
Emily August 29, 2016
Terrific...reduced the amount of herb oil, and would do the same for the tomato marinade next time as it was A LOT more than I needed (or maybe I have a different idea of "six small tomatoes"). I never have good luck with fresh ricotta using lemon juice (I prefer this recipe, using buttermilk:, and this was no different, as what I got was rather loose. Delicious nonetheless.
Eliza August 29, 2016
This was delicious. I skipped the sugar in the sauce - am I missing any magic there? Does anyone have a good vegan ricotta recipe?
KBec August 30, 2016
well, sweetness is what you're missing. Like a pickle or a pinch of sugar in salad dressing it's nice to have the sweetness to play off the tartness and acidity of the vinegar and the saltiness. If you don't like refined sugar, honey, molassas, agave are all options.
Roquette August 29, 2016
Really surprised there is no recipe for the dough.
Tom August 28, 2016
Is this not the way to make grilled pizza. I'm not sure what is so special (genius) about it
George S. August 28, 2016
Maybe an inexpensive balsamic vinegar would work better with the tomatoes and basil.
Jonathan F. August 28, 2016
Maybe try rice vinegar instead. It's a bit sweeter. You could then reduce or eliminate the salt.
Karin B. August 28, 2016
A cup of vinegar and two TABLESPOONS of salt to marinate 6 medium Tomatoes to top two plate size pizzas? Does the "Genius" test these recipes or does he just get a thrill thinking about our puckered faces, wasted ingredients and messy kitchens with nothing to show as a result?
Nora B. August 28, 2016
I understand your concerns regarding the amount of vinegar and salt. However, I lived down the street from Speedy Romeo for several years and often had this pizza in the summertime. It is, for lack of a better word, sublime. I really cannot overstate how amazing this pizza is (at least at the restaurant - I have yet to try this recipe). I suggest you attempt the recipe - I certainly will.
Rachelle W. August 28, 2016
If you have extra dressing, you can always use it to dress more tomatoes/salad/vegetables.... no waste!
Kristen M. August 29, 2016
Karin, yes, I do test every recipe multiple times—remember that most of the marinade is left behind. And, Rachelle, it's brilliant to re-use it to dress other things!