Pizza, Flatbreads, and Savory Tarts

Asparagus Tart

Makes 4 servings


  • Flour, for work surface
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 5-1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1-1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Step 2: On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Step 3: Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.


Makes four 9 by 5-inch Calzones



  • 1 recipe for pizza dough
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 ounces whole-milk ricotta (1 container)
  • 8 ounces provolone, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing shaped calzones
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling


Step 1: Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and heat oven to 450 degrees.  
Step 2: Turn risen dough out onto unfloured work surface. Divide dough in half, then cut each half in half. Gently reshape each piece of dough into ball. Transfer to baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let dough rest at least 15 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
Step 3: Roll dough into 9-inch rounds. With fingertips, press dough ball into 5-inch circle. With floured rolling pin, roll outward from center in all directions until dough forms 9-inch circle. If dough sticks, dust flour under it.
Step 4: Place 2 tablespoons pizza sauce in center of bottom half of dough round. Then add sausage, ricotta, parmesan, and provolone cheeses, and fresh bass. Using small spatula, spread/press filling in even layer across bottom half of dough round, leaving 1-inch border uncovered.
Step 5: Fold top half of dough over cheese-covered bottom half, leaving 1/2-inch border of bottom layer uncovered.
Step 6: With fingertips, lightly press around silhouette of cheese filling and out to edge to lightly seal dough.
Step 7: Beginning at one end of seam, place index finger diagonally across edge and gently pull bottom layer of dough over tip of index finger; press into dough to seal. Repeat until calzone is fully sealed.
Step 8: With very sharp paring knife or razor blade, cut 5 slits, about 11/2 inches long, diagonally across top of calzone, making sure to cut through only top layer of dough and not completely through calzone.
Step 9: With pastry brush, brush tops and sides of calzones with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt. slide calzones onto rimless baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal (to prevent sticking). Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes; cool 5 minutes, and serve. 

Marco's Chicago-Style Pizza



For the Dough:

  • 1 package rapid rise dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2-3/4 cups flour

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-28 ounce can crushed Italian-style tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the Filling for a 9- or 10-inch Pan:

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 pound sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (optional)


Step 1: For the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the olive oil, cornmeal, salt and half of the flour. Beat for 10 minutes. Attach the dough hook and mix in the remaining flour. Knead for several minutes with the mixer. 
Step 2: Remove dough and place in an oiled bowl and allow to rise until double in bulk. Punch down and allow to rise again. Punch down a second time and you are ready to make pizza.
Step 3: To make the sauce: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add crushed tomatoes. 
Step 4: Season with salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes and sugar.  Cook until thickened about 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 5: Oil your deep-dish pizza pan.
Step 6: Depending on the size of your pan, place some dough in the pan and push it out to the edges using your fingers. Put in enough dough so that you can run the crust right up the side of the pan. Make it about 1/8-inch thick throughout the pan.
Step 7: Brush melted butter on crust.
Step 8: Place the cheese in tile-like layers on the bottom of the pie. Next put in the tomatoes and then the basil. Add onions if using them, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, then drizzle olive oil over the top of the pie 
Step 9: Bake the pie in a 475°F oven until the top is golden and the crust a light golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Sausage Pizza


  •     Pizza dough (Click on pizza dough for recipe)
  •     1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  •     1/2 cup green peppers, roughly chopped
  •     1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  •     1/2 to 3/4 cup pizza sauce (see recipe below)
  •     1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  •     1/2 sharp cheddar cheese
  •     1/4 grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  •     1 recipe for Cheryl's famous pizza sauce (click on Cheryl's famous pizza sauce for recipe)


Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 2: With greased fingers, pat dough onto an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan or a 14" X 17" cookie sheet.

Step 3: In a large skillet, cook the sausage and green pepper over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink; drain.

Step 4: Spread pizza sauce over crust. Top with sausage mixture and sliced mushrooms; sprinkle with cheese.

Step 5: Bake at 450° for 12 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.



Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Tart

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen

Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • Flour, unbleached all-purpose, for work surface
  • 1 box frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm, 1.1 pound), thawed in box in refrigerator overnight
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes (about 3 to 4 medium), cored and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Salt
  • 2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Step 1: Thaw the frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight. This will help prevent cracking while unfolding it. 
Step 2: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Dust work surface with flour and unfold one piece of puff pastry onto work surface. Form 1 large sheet with border, using beaten egg as directed. 
Step 3: Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over shell; using fork, uniformly and thoroughly poke holes in shell. 
Step 4: Bake 13 to 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; continue to bake until golden brown and crisp, 10 minutes longer until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack; increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Step 5: While shell bakes, place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes. Slice fresh mozzarella and place on paper towels to absorb moisture (alternatively you can use whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese).
Step 6: Combine garlic, olive oil, and pinch each salt and pepper in small bowl; set aside.
Step 7: Place fresh mozzarella slices evenly over warm (or cool, if made ahead) baked shell. Shingle tomato slices widthwise on top of cheese (about 4 slices per row); brush tomatoes with garlic oil. Bake until shell is deep golden brown and cheese is melted, 15 to 17 minutes. 
Step 8: Cool on wire rack 5 minutes, sprinkle with basil, slide onto cutting board or serving platter, cut into pieces, and serve.

Tyler Florence's Pizza Dough


  •     1 package active dry yeast
  •     1 teaspoon sugar
  •     1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F.)
  •     1 tablespoon kosher salt
  •     3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  •     1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for bowl


Step 1: In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2: Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it's crumbly, add more water; if it's sticky, add more flour - 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat.

Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Step 5: Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Step 6: Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick.  You can also roll the dough into a rectangle.

Step 7: Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.