Grilled Pizza with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Whipped Ricotta

pizza on the grill If you haven’t tried making grilled pizza yet I can honestly say you’re really missing out. Many people are intimidated by it, I was too when I first started making it a couple of years ago. I made many mistakes, especially when grilling the dough you have to get it just right in my opinion because it can make or break the whole pizza.

When grilled correctly the crust becomes crunchy with just the right amount of chew and the perfect platform for your toppings.

slow roasted heirloom tomatoes Speaking of toppings, for grilled pizza I wouldn’t use meat unless it’s been pre-cooked and sliced thin.

For me using veggies of any kind is the way to go, but again they should cooked and  prepped first. Pizza made on the grill goes really fast, you have no time to cook a meat on top, after you crisp up the crust you’re basically waiting for the cheese to melt. Usually  I’ll roast up some zucchini coins or thin slices of eggplant, mushrooms, peppers beforehand so I’m all ready when it comes to topping the pizza, you have to have all your toppings prepped and ready.

This time I decided I was going to use these beautiful heirloom tomatoes that I found which I had slow roasted a couple of days before. They’re basted with garlic and olive oil and slow roasted with fresh thyme or basil for four hours, I love having them tucked away in my fridge to use for appetizers or to top off a special dish or in this case grilled pizza, the flavor is out of this world.

This has now become my new favorite grilled pizza of all times!

ingredients for grilled pizza My ingredients were: One ball of pizza dough, ( I get mine from a good Italian store, but you can make your own of course), fontina cheese, fresh mozzarella, whipped ricotta, basil and the slow roasted tomatoes.

raw pizza dough I don’t like to grill one big pizza, I tried it many times but the crust never turns out the way it should. I like to cut my dough ball in half and make two pizzas. The dough needs to be at room temperature for best results otherwise it keeps springing back when your trying to spread it out and form it nice and even.

Brush both sides with olive oil, place them on a baking sheet and take them out to the grill.

making grilled pizza Heat your grill up nice and hot, burn up any bits, your grill grates should be impeccably clean, then take a paper towel soaked in oil and wipe it all over your grates.

I have a gas grill with three burners, all are lit but kept at medium heat. Now place your dough onto the grill, and don’t touch it!

making grilled pizza You’re going to see it start to bubble, that’s a good thing, let it bubble all around, now take your tongs, lift it and see how it’s doing, you can move it, turn it, but don’t flip it over!

You want to get it nice and crispy, only on one side for now.

making grilled pizza When it looks like this take it off and put it on your baking sheet cooked side up,it’s time to put the toppings on. Remember, the underside is still not cooked.

grilled pizza dough You can tell the dough is cooked in the photo above,  it’s not pale, it doesn’t look gummy or raw, it’s sort of crunchy and slightly hollow if you tap on it, and it’s sturdy enough to  stand up to your ingredients.

grilled pizza toppings I put the grated fontina down first, then cut and scattered my fresh mozzarella around, added the slow roasted tomatoes and fresh basil. The whipped ricotta goes on after the pizza is finished.

grilled pizza Go back out to your grill now and place the uncooked side down onto the grates, close the lid and let the cheese melt, keep checking so the crust doesn’t burn lifting it with your tongs, again you want it nice and crispy like the top with a firm feeling to it, not limp.

grilled pizza It only takes a few minutes so don’t walk away!

grilled pizza The bottom is now cooked and crispy, the cheese has melted, the tomatoes with the garlic oil have permeated the whole pizza and the basil just tops it all off.

But hold on we’re not done!

grilled pizza Time for the whipped ricotta, mix it up and place it in a zip bag, cut off the tip and squeeze fluffy dollops onto your pizza.

grilled pizza Just one bite and you’ll be smitten! There are no words…

grilled pizza

Here’s the link to make the slow roasted tomatoes and whipped ricotta, now get grilling!

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

fresh strawberry pie

It’s strawberry season, and one of my favorite ways to showcase them is in this fresh strawberry pie, it’s the perfect summer dessert!

fresh strawberry pie recipe card I have to admit I’ve been making this for years, it goes way back to the seventies, yes, the seventies’ when I was a young mother and wife. I would get so excited when I received my new batch of recipe cards from Betty Crocker, I would quickly file and categorize them into my lime green recipe box. Today that recipe card library is considered “vintage” or retro and I’ve even seen them show up on ebay every now and then.

When I look at those cards now I have to laugh at what use to be considered popular dishes back then, lots of saucy things, aspics, jello molds filled with everything under the sun even meat!

Times sure have changed but this recipe has always been a favorite, every time we had a summer cookout I would proudly serve this up for dessert and it was a hit each time, to this day I still make it at least a couple of times during the summer and you know what? It’s still a hit!

making fresh strawberry pie

The ingredients are classic and simple and still relevant for today,  fresh berries, a baked pie crust and a glaze made with the berries along with some sugar to sweeten and cornstarch to thicken it, that’s it!

fresh strawberry piefresh strawberry pie Serve it up nice and cold with fresh whipped cream floating on top, hello summertime!

fresh strawberry pie

You’ll be dreaming about this when there’s four feet on snow on the ground, I promise.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Fresh Strawberry Pie
  • 1 9" baked pie shell, either homemade or store-bought, cooled
  • 7- 8 cups of fresh strawberries, stems cut off
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • possible extra water
  • 2 drops of natural red food coloring, optional
  • whipped cream for serving
  1. Blind bake your pie shell. prick it and place some parchment and pie weights on top so pastry doesn't shrink down on you, then set it aside to cool.
  2. Make your glaze by placing a heaping cup of strawberries into a small food processor or blender, process until it turns into a puree, then pour it into a measuring cup, it should measure 1¼ cups total, if not add some water.
  3. In a small sauce pan on medium heat add the sugar, cornstarch and berry puree and optional food coloring, stir until it thickens then let it bubble for 2 more minutes continuing to stir then take pan off the heat and let it cool down for 15 minutes.
  5. Spread half of the glaze onto the bottom and sides of the cooked pie shell, then place fresh berries all around, cut side down filling the bottom, then take the rest and fill in the gaps on top of the berry base, piling them high, always cut side down for presentation.
  6. Spoon the remaining glaze all around and on top of the berries, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours so the glaze can set and it will be easier to cut.
  7. Be gentle when cutting it, then serve with fresh whipped cream.


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Pastina Timbale with Zucchini

pastina timbale with zucchini Before I get to this very fun and delicious recipe I would like to say I enjoyed all the comments on the Lagostina Round Grill Pan giveaway, lots of inspiration from everyone regarding their favorite things to grill.  So without further ado, the winner of the beautiful grill pan is…. LUCIA!!! Congratulations Lucia, I will be contacting you by email to get your address so the company can send the pan directly out to you.

So let’s get on with the recipe. This dish is great for entertaining and is such a fun way to serve little tiny pasta, or pastina as we call it in my family.

Even though you can make this in individual ramekins I prefer the more dramatic presentation using one large bowl, and it’s easier!

pastina timbale with zucchini This is my version of Michael Chiarello’s recipe for pastina timbale, he used a pound of diced Italian sausage folded into the pasta and sauce, I like using zucchini  instead of meat, it’s lighter and I think it pairs well with the delicate pastina. I like to saute it first, get it a nice deep golden brown then fold it into the mixture of pasta, cheese and a nice marinara flavored with garlic and basil, I always opt for homemade but if you can get a good store bought one go ahead, make your life easier!

This is perfect for a summer buffet because you don’t have to worry about it sitting out.

pastina timbale with zucchini Line a bowl with crispy and flavorful breadcrumbs then press the pasta mixture into your mold.

pastina timbale with zucchini Let it sit for fifteen minutes and then it’s time to un-mold.

pastina timbale with zucchini TA-DA! Isn’t she pretty?

pastina timbale with zucchini

And it tastes crazy good!

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Pastina Timbale with Zucchini
  • 1 lb of tiny pasta, I like the round shape
  • 4 medium zucchini, all seeds removed and then diced small
  • olive oil for sauteeing zucchini, crisping the breadcrumbs and for brushing
  • 1 cup of good bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced small or grated
  • ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • a sprinkle or 2 of pepperoncino, (optional)
  • 3 full cups of prepared marinara sauce, garlic and basil flavored, homemade or an exceptional store bought
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil and parsley leaves for decorating
  1. In a skillet drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil,add the garlic over medium heat till golden then pour in the breadcrumbs stirring until lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. remove from heat, let it cool then add ¼ cup each of parsley and the grated cheese, then drizzle 2 more tablespoons of oil, toss and mix.
  2. Brush a large round bowl with olive oil, mine was 8 inches.
  3. Press breadcrumb mixture along the sides and bottom of the bowl evenly. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and on high heat cook your diced zucchini until nice and golden, keep stirring and watching it only takes a few minutes, set aside.
  5. Boil your pasta according to package directions, don't overcook it,then drain.
  6. Heat your sauce at the same time.
  7. Get a different bowl then add the drained pasta, the sauce, the tablespoon of butter, the ½ cup of grated cheese and the additional ¼ cup of parsley, toss together then fold in the sauteed zucchini.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  9. Spoon mixture into breadcrumb lined bowl, evenly distribute it along the sides and bottom, pressing down lightly.
  10. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  11. Un-mold onto a platter then decorate with basil and parsley leaves.
  12. Enjoy!


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