April 23, 2013

Over the past few months, I have fallen under the spell of Za'atar. What is that? Zataar is middle eastern spice blend, mainly composed of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. I kept running into items on menus that listed Za'atar as an ingredient (on flatbreads, in spreads, even a Za'atar bagel), and the stuff tasted so good that I figured I'd pick some up to have around the house. Turns out the stuff is cheap too. So cheap that they sell it in 1 lb. bags.  That's a lot of Za'atar! With so much on hand, I knew that it would have to find it's way onto a pizza. 

I mixed a healthy amount of Za'atar into a little bit of olive oil to make a paste. The Za'atar paste spread generously onto a freshly rolled out pizza dough formed a great base for a Middle Eastern inspired pie. Next, I topped the pie with our usual blend of Mozzarella and shredded pecorino, some fire roasted yellow peppers, and some crumbled lamb sausage that I picked up from my other new jam, Los Piasano's, a killer meat shop on Smith Street in Brooklyn. We popped the pie in the +500 degree oven, and seven minutes later, Ash and I were chowin' down, feeling like Saudi Royalty. Enjoy!


Za'atar Pie W/ lamb Sausage

1 dough
3 oz mozzeralla
4tsp za'atar spice blend
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 fire roasted yellow pepper
1 link lamb sausage
2 oz shredded pecorino cheese

Mix the Za'atar spice blend with the olive oil until you form a paste. Remove the lamb sausage from the casing, and crumble into a hot skillet to cook. Spread out the dough. Spread the Za'atar paste generously on the dough. Top with mozz, peppers, cooked crumbled sausage, and pecorino. Bake at +500 degrees plus for 5-7 min.

April 9, 2013


    For some reason, aesthetically a pie looks more complete, no authentic, if it contains the colors red, green and white.  The red and green contrast so nicely and are mellowed by the off white colors of the formaggi.  Sometimes I haphazardly find myself creating a recipe that has this classic color palette and when I look at the pictures I think...this pie just looks like another Italian margherita spin off, I should have been more creative.....pushed the envelope!  Alas, this is no ordinary Italian classic.  Something is hidden in the pesto that causes your palette to second guess its senses.


1/4 c. olive oil

juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. almonds
1 bunch of basil
1 bunch of cilantro
salt and pepper

Pie Ingredients

1 dough
1/4 c. pesto
1/2 c. ricotta
sprinkle of pecorino
4 slices of hot soppressata

   First make your pesto in a food processor.  Pulse until it forms a thick paste.  Next stretch your dough and smear the pesto over the surface.  Add a few dollops of ricotta and mix in with the pesto.  Layer mozzarella and soppressata on, and top the pie off with a sprinkle of pecorino.  Bake in the oven at 550 for 7 minutes.  Season to taste.  If you make this pie you will notice how the cilantro pairs nicely with the spicy soppressata.  

Mangia mangia!