Pizzas Are Not Pies

A pizza is no more a pie than a boiled egg. Everyone knows this. A pie is something you have for desert that involves having a base and a top of pastry with some sort of blueberry, apple, or pecan based filling inside. A pizza may be served at either breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but never as a desert. The only type of pizza that you could perhaps refer to as a pie would be a Chicago style deep dish pizza, which has the same depth as a pie and has a crust that vaguely resembles pie crust. There is absolutely no excuse for referring to any type of conventional pizza as a pie.

People who refer to pizzas as pies are generally insufferable hipster-types who never stop looking for ways to make themselves feel superior. “You’re a Tim Horton’s drinking simpleton who scarfs down pizza while I am a sophisticated person who eats pizza pies.” Christ. If you want to make yourself feel superior than go find yourself an Ethiopian restaurant.

In normal times it wouldn’t really matter if some self-important hipster went around calling pizzas pies, but we are not living in normal times. Donald Trump was just elected partly as a reaction to the growing numbers of insufferable and obnoxious pseudo-sophisticates who were constantly rubbing their misplaced sense of superiority in people’s faces (that and the intervention of the Russians and a press release from the head of the FBI…). Every time someone refers to pizza as a pie another Trump voter is created.

Stop Ordering Vegetarian and Hawaiian Pizzas

Pizza is far and away the most popular food for parties and casual get-togethers. There are all kinds of pizza makers who will deliver pizzas right to your door, you can eat it with your hands, and your guests aren’t left with any bones to discard. Just order up a bunch of pepperoni, deluxe, and cheese pizzas and everyone will be happy, yet for some unfathomable reason virtually everyone orders the two most universally hated pizzas in the world; Hawaiian and vegetarian.

No matter where you have your party, whom you invite, or how many pizzas you order, the leftover pizza will always include Hawaiian and vegetarians. If you ordered a hundred pepperoni pizzas and one each of vegetarian and Hawaiian, the pepperoni pizzas would be the least likely to be left over. Everyone hates these two pizzas yet everyone insists on ordering them. If you ask your guests if they want either of these pizzas they will all nod yes, but when the pizza arrives they will all dive into the good stuff first. Only when there are no other options will you see people grudgingly reach for the veggie or Hawaiian. 90% of these pizzas are eaten at room temperature or below.

The greatest marketer of all time is the person who convinced the world that they needed to put pineapple on a pizza. Pineapple isn’t a pizza topping, it’s a desecration. Putting pineapple on pizza is like putting an ice cube in glass of fine red wine or mixing single malt scotch with Pepsi. What is the purpose of Hawaiian pizza anyway? At least vegetarian pizza has some ostensible purpose; to provide a pizza option for vegetarians. There is no need for Hawaiian pizza to exist. It’s as if it was invented for the sole purpose of ensuring that there would be some leftover pizza at parties. I am not a betting man, but if I were, I would bet that no pizzeria anywhere in the world has ever had a person purchase just a single Hawaiian pizza. It is only ever sold with a bunch of other pizzas to someone holding a party or event who has fallen for the myth that there are people who actually like Hawaiian pizza.

As I mentioned above, vegetarian pizza at least has a reason to exist, but that is still not a reason to ever have one at your party. I want to be clear that when I say that you should never order a vegetarian pizza, I am not saying that you should never order a pizza that has no meat on it. The problem with vegetarian pizza is that it is typically just a bunch of random vegetables thrown on without any thought as to how they go together. The hallmark of any truly great pizza is that it does not have too many toppings, but people who make vegetarian pizzas feel like they need to compensate for the lack of meat by piling on every vegetable they have.  If you want to serve your guests a meat free pizza, order up a margherita. The simple combination of mozzarella, basil, and tomato works perfectly. Even carnivores will often have themselves a slice. If your local pizza takeout doesn’t have a margherita, just order a plain cheese pizza. It may be simple, but it is better than the chaotic mess that is the vegetarian or the abomination that is the Hawaiian.

00 Flour Pizza Recipe

Everyone likes pizza, but despite being relatively easy to make, it is rarely made at home, perhaps because there are so many pizza places who will not only cook it for you, but deliver it right to your door. There is nothing wrong with takeout pizza, but making your own pizza allows you to customize it exactly the way you like it and you don’t have to worry about the personal hygiene habits of the 17 year old who topped your pizza for you. For me, making your own pizza is not just about the right combination and amounts of ingredients, but also about the dough. It is very difficult to get an authentic Italian style thin, chewy crust at a takeout, which too frequently offer an inch thick, bready crust. If you want an Italian style pizza, make sure you get yourself a pizza stone or, better yet, a cast iron pizza pan. Using 00 flour works best but if you only have regular all-purpose it will still turn out fine.  The sauce is the easiest part of a pizza recipe and it is even easier if you have an immersion blender puree everything right in the pot.

One final note on pizza. If like me, you’ve done some research online about the best way to make pizza, you will probably have noticed that celebrity chefs almost universally caution home cooks to not to use too much cheese on their pizza. This is nonsense. If you like cheese, then use it generously; the more the better. Unless you are having a celebrity chefs over for dinner, your guests will never complain about too much cheese on their pizza. Celebrity chefs tell you not to use too much cheese for the same reason that they tell you to always serve meat rare, tuna uncooked in the middle, and to use a whole head of garlic instead of a clove; they are doing it to differentiate themselves from unsophisticated home cooks. Do yourself a favour, be unsophisticated and go crazy with the cheese and while you’re at it, go easy on the garlic.


  • Heavy cast iron pizza pan
  • Small to medium sized pot
  • Immersion blender


For the sauce:

  • 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 small diced onion (or 1 tsp onion powder if you are in a hurry)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic (or half teaspoon garlic powder if you are in a hurry)
  • Small can of tomato paste

For the dough:

  • 1 and ¼ cup 00 flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 electric mixer


  • Lots of whatever you like on pizza


Stir the yeast into one cup of warm water and set aside for 10 minutes while the yeast proofs. Mix together the salt and 1 cup of each flour. When the yeast and water mixture starts to foam, pour it and a tablespoon of olive oil into the flour and salt mixture and mix with the dough hook attachment for about three minutes. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes and then mix again for a couple of minutes. Add the quarter cup of 00 flour onto a work surface and then knead the dough by hand until all of the flour has been absorbed. Then form into a ball and place in a bowl that has been coated with olive oil. Turn the dough ball around until it has been coated in the oil. Cover with a moist cup towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 3 or 4 hours in a warm location. If you are doing this on a weeknight, allow to rise in the fridge overnight.

About a half hour before you are ready to make the pizza, place the cast iron pizza pan in the oven and set it to 500 degrees or has high as your oven will go. Dump all of the ingredients for the tomato sauce in a pot and simmer. After 10 or 15 minutes when everything has softened, blend with the immersion blender and then simmer on low until ready.

When the dough is finished rising, sprinkle some flour on your work surface and dump the dough on it. Cut it and half and make two dough balls, then form them into thick discs with your hand. You can use a roller to stretch out the dough but it actually works best if you spin the dough in the air just like you see it done on TV. The dough will be strong enough that it shouldn’t tear. Once it is strong enough, place it back on the work surface and use your fingers to raise up the edges. Take the cast iron pan out of the oven and give it a generous sprinkle of olive oil (be very careful with the pan as it will be extremely hot). In order not to stretch the pizza out of shape, fold it in half, then fold it in half again by folding one corner over the other (see picture), then lay it on the tray and unfold it (again, careful with the pan). Use a BBQ brush to give the dough a light coating of olive oil to prevent the sauce from making the dough soggy, then place the sauce, pepperoni, cheese, and whatever else you want on it and place it in the oven for about 9 or 10 minutes or until the cheese starts to form nice golden brown patches. You can make the crust a little crispier by letting the pizza rest on the hot pan outside the oven for a few minutes.

Don’t Ever Try to Make Cauliflower Pizza

I love pizza, but I am also trying to cut back on the carbs in order to lose a few pounds. I was looking around for some halfway appetizing low carb recipes and I came across something that appeared to be too good to be true; a recipe for pizza crust made out of cauliflower. The recipes I came across all looked fantastic, with thin, crispy crusts. I knew that it couldn’t possibly taste as good as regular pizza dough, but even if it was just halfway edible I figured I could mask the taste by piling on the toppings and sauce. Alas my dream of low carb pizza was short lived as I threw the whole thing in the garbage.

I don’t usually throw leftovers in the garbage; I generally throw them out for the crows that live in the woods behind my house. They generally love stale pizza leftovers but I didn’t bother giving them any of this because I seriously didn’t think they would eat it. It was the worst thing I have ever cooked. An absolute abomination. Cauliflower pizza is to regular pizza what gremlins are to mogwais. It is impossible to make cauliflower crust crispy. The outside of my crust was almost burnt and it was still soft.

This was the most disappointing thing I have ever made, not just because of the taste, but because it almost fooled me into believing that it might actually be not terrible. When I took the pizza out of the oven it looked fantastic, but then my dream was shattered as soon as I tried picking up the gooey mess. It’s like the first time I ever tried decaf coffee, only a hundred times worse. If you are trying to cut down on carbs, either don’t eat pizza or make a very thin crust. Do not try replacing flour with ground up cauliflower. If it was any good you would have seen one in a restaurant by now.