Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Fictional Pizza Recipe: Papa Pigorino’s Grande BLD

You like pizza? Me too! I like pizza in all most of its infinite varieties.

When I was a teen, and just beginning to learn how to cook, my friend Steve taught me how to make deep-dish pizza. His recipe was similar to pound cake. (Traditional pound cake is made from four ingredients: one pound each of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter.) “Steve’s Pizza” was made from one pound each of bread dough, hamburger, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. To a fourteen-year-old with an insatiable appetite, it was heaven.

I was thinking about that leaden gut-bomb last year while working on Slider, a book about, among other things, a kid who discovers he has a talent for consuming massive quantities of food very quickly. Naturally, he enters eating contests—sliders and pizza are his specialties.
Coming September 2017

In one scene our fourteen-year-old hero, David Miller, must rapidly consume a grotesque, mutant version of “Steve’s Pizza”: Papa Pigorino’s Grande BLD.*

Fictional recipes are fun to write. For one thing, one need not worry about whether they work—they just have so sound good, or at least interesting. They can be inedible, impractical, impossible, or all three. My recipe for the BLD might produce something edible. But no guarantees.

Full disclosure: I have not tested this recipe. Nor do I intend to. If you're looking for pizza ideas you might want to, you know, eat, check out Barry Lyga's pizza-centric novel Bang (April).

Papa Pigorino’s Grande BLD

1 pound frozen bread dough
olive oil
1 can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons oregano
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and cut in half.
1/4 pound pepperoni, sliced
1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and broken into bite-size chunks
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup green and black olives, pitted
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ pound cheddar cheese, shredded
12 strips of bacon
1 egg
1 parsley sprig

Prepare crust
Thaw bread dough and let rise. Roll out dough into a disk about sixteen inches across and place in an oiled pie tin, turning up the edges to make a rim at least two and one-half inches high. Brush with olive oil and bake in a 400° oven for ten minutes to partially cook crust.

Assemble and bake pizza
Pour tomato sauce into partially baked crust. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, oregano. And the garlic cloves. Add Italian sausage and cheddar cheese. Pile on bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, artichoke hearts, and olives. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni.
Make a lattice of bacon strips to cover the mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Don’t burn the bacon!

Final touches
While the pizza is baking, make hash browns and fry one egg, sunny side up. When the pizza is baked, make a nest of hash browns** in the center of the pizza. Top with the fried egg. Add a sprig of parsley to make it classy.

* What does BLD stand for? “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.”

Slider will be published this September.

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