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It’s a Pizza Throwdown–"Lorenzo" Nokes vs. Franco "Del Tartufo"!

The pizza wars have begun. It’s Larry “Lorenzo” Nokes vs “Frank” Franco del Tartufo.

Larry’s no stranger to pizza or Italy for that matter–he lived in the Emilia Romagna region for two years and tasted a lot of pizza. In fact, one of my early blogs was about Larry and his BBQ’d Pizza. But Larry, always seeking to outdo himself, has come a long way since using the plain BBQ. 

Thanks to the birthday present his wife, Cathy, gave him, he has converted his Weber Kettle into a mini “wood-burning” pizza oven that gets up to 900 degrees!

Recently we celebrated Larry’s birthday and the new wood-burning oven with some outrageous pizzas and even more outrageous toppings. 

Franco, I’m not sure if Italy is ready for this, but you’ll have to give these toppings a try and let us know!

And the best news–don’t worry if you don’t have a pizza oven in your backyard, you can do this with your Weber Kettle!

Here’s Larry’s recipe that was “inspired” by Jamie Oliver. Larry modified it to make a healthier crust, but he said you can use white flour if you prefer. 

And may the best pizza win!

(enough for 6-8 medium pizzas)
  • 2 cups white bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups pumpernickel or rye flour (or a combination of the two)
  • 2 (1/4 oz.) packets active dried yeast
  • 1 TBS raw sugar
  • 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Sift the flours and salt into a stand mixing bowl. 
Mix the yeast, sugar, olive oil and luke-warm water together in a large measuring cup and let rest for a few minutes.
Attach the dough hook on your mixer. Add liquid to flours and mix on #2 speed for 5-7 minutes. Dough should form a ball. If necessary, drizzle a little more water into the mixture. If it gets too wet, just add a little flour.
*Note: You can also make this dough by hand. Start with your flour well, add liquid and using a fork gently mix together. Continue to knead by hand until you have a smooth, springy dough.*
Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl sprinkle flour on top. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it with your hands to push out all the air–this is “punching down the dough.” Now it’s ready to use. Separate into as many small dough balls as you want to make pizzas.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. If you’re not going to use it all, you can freeze it. Oh, and it’s okay to have a beer while you’re making the dough.
Have the toppings ready to go.
  • Brussels Sprout leaves, mozzarella and pancetta
  • Sausage, mozzarella, roasted peppers and caramelized onions
  • Pear and Gorgonzola
  • Fig, prosciutto, blue cheese, caramelized onion and fresh red onion
  • Butternut squash, caramelized onions, fresh sage
Here’s the first pizza Larry and Cathy made. Cathy lightly brushed the dough with olive oil and sprinkled a little garlic powder on it. Then she added fresh mozzarella, the Brussels sprout leaves and the cooked pancetta. Always dust the surface you’re working on with corn meal so it slides easily into the pizza oven.
Larry put it in the “wood-burning” Weber and it cooked for about 8 minutes. He turned it a couple times while it was cooking.
And here’s what it looked like when it came out.
Here’s the fig, prosciutto, blue cheese, red onion before….
…and after. I guess someone got a slice before I could take the photo!
The pear and gorgonzola was a big hit!
And so was the butternut squash with mozzarella, caramelized onions and fresh sage.
If you have a Weber…and like pizza, you really can do this at home. Invite your friends over and have a big pizza party. See who can come up with the most inventive and tasty topping.

Franco, what do you think? Let us know!

But most important…as I always say…Enjoy!

Categories: Everything Italian

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4 replies

  1. Wow, I gotta get one of those pizza deely-boppers…….Delizioso

  2. One of these days I will figure out your new blog post system 🙁

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