Sunday, February 13, 2011

I HEART Pepperoni Pizza - Happy Valentine's Day

Look Closely...

Lots of people make Heart Shaped pizzas around the most romantic of all holidays...  But to add an extra little Zing...

How about Heart shaped Pepperoni on a heart shaped pizza!

Now that says lovin' from the oven!

OK, a couple of bookkeeping points...

First, I am not posting this on Monday because it is not a part of the Pizza 2011 Project (a different pizza each week for a year).  I have already made a terrific Pepperoni Pizza.  This is almost an exact copy, just with a stunt technique.  So, when the book of my life is written, this post goes in the appendix to the Pizza 2011 Project.  Come back Monday, as I will have a true Pizza 2011 Project post (a terrific dessert pizza (also will be heart shaped) very much in keeping with Valentine's Day.  I will post early in the morning so you have time to set your menu if you like it).

SlideshowSecond, much as I would like to claim credit for the original idea, heart shaped pizzas have been around for years and years.  In the past, Jackie and I have enjoyed a night out at our local favorite pizza place.  First two weeks in February, a heart shaped pizza is always on the menu.  BUT, this week, one of my new favorite sites, SLICE (a part of the Serious Eats Portal), did a post on how to create the Heart shaped pepperoni. (click HERE for that post; that's their pizza on the right).  While they use a different technique from the one I am going to show, their post (and site) is certainly worth taking a look at.  They have rapidly joined the ranks of sites I look at every day.

And so, we are ready...

For the shape of the pizza, I just pinched one end and pulled to get the long pointy bottom.  I did take a knife and trimmed off a bit to get the sides nice and straight.  Then I pinched all the sides to make a small lip to hold all the sauce and cheese.  For the top, I simply grabbed the opposite side from the point and pushed and mushed it down until I had a nice indention.  Then much as I did on the sides, formed a lip.  It's not hard, just keep using the heal of your hand to mush the pizza dough around till you get the shape you like.

Next, we make the pepperoni into heart shape.  I used a thinly sliced commonly available pepperoni slice.  Pretty simple to cut the shapes.  I stacked them about a dozen high.  Made sure they were square and started cutting.  The two straight sides, and a wedge cut from the top.  I made 4 very tiny trims to make the top half moons more rounded and viola...

Heart shaped pepperonis

Do notice that bottom right hand picture... See all the extra pieces of pepperoni that were cut... Don't worry, they will be used to make a tremendously flavored pizza...

OK... from here there is a tip you need to keep in mind.  The shape needs to stay the same.  So, I transfered the dough heart to a pizza peel.  The heavy end (the two half moons of the heart) pointed away from the handle).  I also laid out a couple of sheets of parchment paper under the dough.  These steps make transferring to a pizza stone much easier, preserving the shape of the heart.  If you do not have a pizza peel (you should), you can use a flat piece of cardboard and the parchment paper to transfer to the stone.  If you don't have a pizza stone (you should), you can form this on a thin cookie sheet.  Will not have as crisp of a crust, but will still work in a pinch (until I can talk you into buying a pizza peel and stone).

For the pizza sauce, I used my Simple Winter Tomato Sauce.  I did take my hand blender and mushed the tomatoes to make a thick paste.  I also added some shitake mushrooms (sliced to thin slivers) to add some natural sweetness.

For the dough, earlier in the day I made a batch of my "usual".  To make it more heart friendly (to continue the theme), I swapped out 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour with a half cup of whole wheat flour.

And for the cheese, I used my new favorite... Cappiello Scamorza cheese.  Easy to slice, Mozzarella with a hint of Provolone... An outstanding pizza cheese!

OK, build the pizza...

Sprinkle about 1 TBS of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the dough.  use a brush to spread it around, making sure the edges are well covered.

Salt and Pepper the olive oil

Add the sauce

And now, I added the Pepperoni pieces (not the pepperoni hearts, they are last).

Next, cover with cheese slices

And finally, add the Heart shaped pepperoni.

Bake on a pre heated pizza stone in a pre heated 500 degree oven for 10-12 minutes...

Until it looks delicious... Like this...

Forget flowers... This really says you care enough to make the very best!

Happy Valentine's Day



  1. Just the thought of all that spicy delicious pepperoni is making me salivate! I'm pretty sure if I made that, the smell would have every boy in the tristate area running towards my apartment.

  2. That is so awesome! I'd rather have that than flowers or chocolate any day!!

  3. Very cute, I think this would melt anyone's heart!

  4. No way! Cutest thing in the world.

  5. I just made pizza tonight too - didn't think of cutting the pepperoni into heart shapes though!

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and Jackie! :D

  6. You SO beat me to the punch...posting my run-of-the-mill heart-shaped pizza tomorrow. But you win....heart-shaped pepperoni TOO?! Seriously?! OK, you win. Happy V-day to you and The Mrs. : )

  7. Very nice looking pizza! And an easy way to do the heartaroni without buying the mini cookie cutter. Thanks!

  8. Awwww this is the best pizza ever! So creative! I <3 it. =)

  9. Oh my gosh...ILOVE IT! Beautiful, beautiful pizza, Dave. I may have to follow suit on this one =)