Proof of concept

There’s no debating, at least as far as we’re concerned, that New York pizzas are the best. But the first that really captured our hearts was actually in Los Angeles. Pizzeria Mozza, a collaboration between La Brea Bakery‘s Nancy Silverton and that emperor of an ever-expanding Italian empire, Mario Batali, blew us away with its amazing pizzas (Funghi misti, fontina, taleggio and thyme; Bianca with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere and sage… to name a couple). We went there as often as we could before we left LA, and looked for excuses to bring our friends whenever possible. In fact, we went there the night I found out I matched at NYU and that we would be moving to New York.

A few days ago, Ashley was in a colleague’s office and spotted a cover image on Saveur magazine that looked familiar, only to realize that it was that of her favorite pizza at Mozza: squash blossoms, tomato, and burrata. Realizing this meant that the recipe would be made available, she came home with a plan. (It turns out, by the way, that this particular Saveur–#127–is all about Los Angeles and features quite a few old favorites.)
We decided to perform a proof of concept–we wouldn’t exactly recreate the pizza (squash blossoms aren’t the easiest to come by this time of year), but we would use some of the key elements.


We replaced the zucchini flowers with zucchini–which we shaved with a vegetable peeler.

And though we’ve made some delicious pizza dough in the past, we took a short-cut and used Trader Joe’s pre-made, refrigerated dough. Nor did we make our own pizza sauce this time, supplementing Mario’s (keeping in the spirit) marinara.

The burrata cheese (mozzarella filled with cream and curds) was non-negotiable of course, but with those other cheats, the pizza only took about fifteen minutes to make. Fifteen minutes, that is, if you don’t include the time it takes the oven and requisite (in our opinion) pizza stone to preheat to 500 degrees.


The end result was delicious! Not quite like the original (Trader Joe’s crust just can’t compete with Nancy’s) but very tasty nonetheless. We’ll have to try again this summer when we can get all the freshest ingredients. That said, you can never go too wrong with burrata, olive oil, and sea salt–and it was fun to look back on all those wonderful meals we shared at Mozza.

(Top photo from Saveur, by Penny De Los Santos)

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