Need yet another reason to love your sheet pan? Pi Day is here, and whether or not you harbor a special love for 3.14159, it provides the excuse you don’t need to celebrate pi-slash-pie. (Whatever. Let’s eat!)
Sometimes, we seem to need reasons to eat the foods we love. Whether it’s “I had a hard day and I deserve it,” or “It’s this random national food holiday and I’ve just remembered how much I love this food,” we decide to go for it. (And yes, those “food days” are arbitrary. National Margarita Day is in… February?)
But you don’t need a reason or a faux-holiday to make and consume pie. I’m not yet super-skilled at making sweet fruit pies, nor do I often crave them. Instead, I’ll whip up tarts, upside-down cakes, or cannelés if my sweet tooth has kicked into high gear.
Then there’s pizza—oh, pizza. There are few things tastier than pizza pie—particularly, in my opinion, one concocted slab-style, in an oiled sheet pan. And for my money, nothing beats this pepperoni pizza recipe. It’s based on one of New York City’s most beloved slices, the “Spicy Spring” at Prince Street Pizza in SoHo. That slice is completely covered with pepperoni, which curl up into what one slice lover memorably called “grease chalices.” The pie is rectangular, with a caramelized, almost-burnt, thick outer crust with a plush top, plenty of spicy tomato sauce, and the right amount of cheese.
I didn’t think this recipe would be able to replicate the pizzaiolo’s success at home, but oh, does it ever—and it completely floored friends at a recent dinner party.
Things to love about this recipe (from the very talented J. Kenji Lopéz-Alt):
- You can make the dough in a couple minutes in a food processor.
- If you do, you can just stretch it into a sheet pan to sit for a couple of hours; no need to wait overnight.
- The sauce is so easy and inexpensive, and you can use the extra for pasta.
- If you splurge on natural-casing pepperoni, which you should, the edges of each ‘roni slice will pull back in very satisfying fashion (see “grease chalices,” above), and make the whole thing look gorgeous.
Also, you can serve the pie at once, and it will feed four hungry adults or five to six less-hungry adults (or those with better self-control). If in doubt, just make an extra half-sheet-pan pizza, because six adults crushed almost one and a half full pies. Happy Pi Day to you and yours, and happy noshing!
Alex Van Buren is a food and travel writer living in Brooklyn, New York whose work has appeared in Gourmet.com, Bon Appétit, Travel & Leisure, New York Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Epicurious. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @alexvanburen.