Grandma Pie with Morty-D & Pistachio-Pickled Pepper Pesto


This recipe yields one half sheet tray of pizza, which means you’ll take two 1 pound balls of dough and combine them into one, in order to have enough dough to fill the pan. If you’re cooking for 2, you could easily halve this recipe, and bake it in a quarter sheet tray, or even a 9 x 13 baking dish. But if you ask me, it’s worth going for the full shebangy. There’s really nothing worse than running out of ‘za.

Active Time: 40 Mins

Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins



  • 2 garlic cloves


  • ½ small red onion


  • Handful of basil leaves


  • ¼ cup olive oil


  • 2 pounds store-bought pizza dough


  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper


  • ½ cup castelvetrano olives


  • ¾ cup pepperoncini in brine


  • ¼ cup roasted pistachios


  • 12 ounces fresh whole milk mozzarella cheese


  • ¾ cup whole milk ricotta


  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  • 6 ounces thinly sliced mortadella

1. Do Some Prep:

  • Remove 2 pounds of pizza dough from the fridge. Knead them together to form one large, single, taught ball of dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or return to its bag and let come to room temperature This can take up to 90 minutes from when you pull it from the refrigerator, so plan ahead!
  • Tear 12 ounces of mozzarella into bite sized pieces (quarter sized-ish).
  • Transfer the mozzarella into a medium bowl. Add ¾ cup whole milk ricotta cheese. Finely grate 2 garlic cloves into the mozzarella, tossing to evenly combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Thinly slice ½ small red onion through the root end.

2. Stretch the dough:

  • Arrange a rack in the bottom of your oven. Preheat the oven to 500. Pour ¼ cup olive oil into a a half sheet tray (13 x 18”) and rub it around with a pastry brush or your fingers until well coated.
  • Place the pizza dough in the center of the prepared baking sheet and use your hands to dimple it and to stretch it towards the edges, working from the middle outwards. If the dough feels tight, and won’t stretch to the edges, cover with plastic wrap and let rest a few minutes before attempting to stretch again. Repeat this process until the dough stretches to the edge of the pan without springing back.

3. Build and cook the pizza:

  • Scatter the mozzarella mixture evenly over the dough.
  • Scatter the sliced red onion evenly over the mozzarella.
  • Tear 6 ounces of sliced mortadella in half, and then loosely crumple them up into mounds as you place them on the pizza (to increase potential for crispy edges and give the pizza some height). You can use some of the mozzarella to anchor the Mortadella mountains.
  • Drizzle the pizza with 1 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cook, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through, until the crust is deeply golden brown at the edges, and the cheese is melted and mortadella is crisp on top, 20-24 minutes

4. Meanwhile, make the pistachio and pickled pepper pesto:

  • Finely chop ¼ cup roasted pistachios.
    Coarsely chop ½ cups pitted castelvetrano olives.
  • Finely chop ¾ cup pepperoncini, discarding the stems if they’re attached.
    Stir together the pistachios, olives, pepperoncini, 3 tablespoons of pepperoncini brine, and ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese.

5. Top and serve:

  • Once the pizza is cooked, let rest for 3 minutes in the baking sheet.
  • Spoon the pistachio pesto over the pizza.
  • Tear a handful of basil leaves in half and scatter them over.
  • Sprinkle with more grated parm, cut into squares and serve.

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