Why It Works
- Honey and spicy dry-cured sausage are one of those combinations that are just meant to be.
- Fresh sliced chiles and regular honey stand in place of chile-infused honey.
- The sauce is simply hand-crushed canned San Marzano tomatoes.
We food folks are a sort of incestuous bunch. No, not in that way. What I mean is that so long as it's done respectfully, we love it when people borrow, use, alter, upgrade, sideswipe, stir up, shake, or otherwise manipulate our ideas and ingredients.
When our friend, and pizza genius, Paulie Gee took a bottle of chile- and vinegar-infused honey made by his apprentice Mike Kurtz and drizzled it over his Delboy pizza (a pie topped with spicy soppressata, mozzarella, and Parmesan) at Paulie's eponymous restaurant, the Hellboy was born. It became an instant classic—one that we've been touting for years. In fact, Eater dubbed it the "Crack Pie of Pizza".
I'd never tasted honey on pizza before, but it was so darn natural that it felt like every pizzeria should have honey on the table, right next to the red pepper flakes. Honey and spicy dry-cured sausage is one of those combinations that are just meant to be.
So the other day, when I was firing off a batch of new pies in my backyard, the combination immediately came to mind. I don't have a bottle of Mike's Hot Honey at home, but I've got plenty of regular honey. Combined with some spicy soppressata and thinly sliced chiles, I figured it would do me well.
I spread some crushed tomatoes on a stretched disk of my Neapolitan pizza dough and scattered it with chunks of fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, spicy soppressata, sliced serrano chiles, and basil leaves. Then I popped it in the oven for just a couple of minutes. Typically I'd use my Baking Steel and KettlePizza combo oven, but at the moment I've got a loaner Kalamazoo Pizza Oven, so I'm trying to get in as much testing as possible before I have to send it back.
As soon as the pie came out, I drizzled it with some fresh honey before slicing and serving.
Was it exactly like Paulie Gee's Hellboy? Nope, and that's really okay. It was still delicious. The best thing about good ideas is that they just keep giving.
1 recipe Neapolitan pizza dough or 2 pounds store-bought pizza dough
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into rough chunks and drained
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
6 to 10 ounces sliced hot soppressata or salami
1 small serrano chile, thinly sliced
12 to 15 fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons honey
Divide dough into 4 equal parts and place each in a covered quart-sized deli container or a zipper-lock freezer bag. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before baking. Transfer tomatoes to a medium bowl and roughly crush by hand. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
Adjust oven rack to 6 inches under broiler and place stone or steel on rack. Preheat oven to highest possible temperature (500 or 550°F/200 or 260°C) for at least 45 minutes. Alternatively, use a KettlePizza and Baking Steel grill insert.
When ready to bake, turn one dough ball out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press out dough into a rough 8-inch circle, leaving the outer 1 inch higher than the center. Gently stretch dough into a 10- to 12-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick, by draping over knuckles and gently stretching. Transfer to floured wooden pizza peel.
Preheat broiler to high. Spread a thin layer of crushed tomatoes over the pizza, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Spread 1/4 of mozzarella over pizza, followed by 1/4 of Parmesan, 1/4 of sliced sopressata, 1/4 of chiles, and 1/4 of basil leaves. Sprinkle lightly with salt and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Transfer pizza to hot stone or steel and broil, rotating regularly for even cooking, until edges are puffed and lightly charred and bottom is crisp, 3 to 6 minutes total. Retrieve pizza with a metal peel and transfer to a cutting board. Allow to rest 1 minute. Meanwhile, switch oven back to 550°F to reheat stone or steel for remaining pizzas.
Drizzle pizza with 1 tablespoon honey, slice, and serve.
Repeat steps 3 through 6 for remaining pizzas.
Wood and metal pizza peels, pizza cutter, baking stone or baking steel
For best results, bake your pizza using a KettlePizza and Baking Steel setup.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 52g||67%|
|Saturated Fat 20g||99%|
|Total Carbohydrate 58g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 22g|
|Vitamin C 15mg||73%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|