Mystical Double Cheese Pizza #SundaySupper

by Anne Papina on April 14, 2013

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Has a movie ever inspired you in the kitchen? I mean, who hasn’t fantasized about recreating the famous Quail in Rose Petal Sauce scene from Like Water for Chocolate? After watching Chocolat, did you start adding a pinch of cayenne to your hot cocoa? Maybe you watched Big Night and figured one day you would, in fact, make a towering timpano. Heck, I can’t even eat a cannoli without muttering the words “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” And that movie wasn’t even about food! This week’s #SundaySupper is all about recipes inspired by your favorite movies and do we have a line up for you. My contribution this week is the Mystic Pizza.

It’s tradition, and you don’t monkey with tradition!

Ever since the first time I saw Mystic Pizza, I’ve wanted to have it, which is silly, since the pizza doesn’t really exist. Actually, the movie itself was inspired by a pizza joint called Mystic Pizza located in Mystic, Connecticut, but the pizza described in the movie has nothing to do with what they sell there. In the movie, Leona (Conchata Ferrell) creates her famous secret sauce using a blend of spices from the Algarve in Portugal. And in the reality of the movie, no one, including the local food critic, can quite figure out what those spices might be. While mention of the pizza is sprinkled throughout, the movie itself follows the romantic entanglements of three young girls–Julia Roberts, Annabeth Gish, and Lili Taylor–with the pizza shop providing the backdrop for many scenes. A very young Matt Damon even pops in to deliver a single line.

But it’s the last line of the movie, “What the hell do you think Leona really puts in that pizza?” that sums it all up. It’s something I’ve pondered for a long time, and I can’t watch the movie without craving pizza. After doing a little research on the interwebs, I discovered that some speculated the secret ingredient was fennel seed. A good guess for sure, but I hardly think fennel seed’s distinct flavor would have anyone stumped. And fennel seed doesn’t scream Portuguese, at least to me. So, I decided to take the sauce in a different direction. I used my mom’s pizza sauce as reference point, then changed things up a bit by adding some cumin, ground piri-piri chilies, and fresh cilantro. The resulting sauce was as distinct as it was delicious. I decided to simply top the pizza with cheese so the sauce could remain the star of the show, but it certainly would work well with all sorts of toppings.

Let’s dig in!

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Chop the green onions and cilantro, crush the garlic, and add to a small bowl.

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Stir in the other ingredients along with the tomato sauce, then set this aside. It’s best if you make it a few hours before so the flavors have time to blend.

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Meanwhile, roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured board.

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Spread a handful of cornmeal on the pizza peel, and transfer the rolled out pizza dough to the paddle.

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Spread one cup of sauce evenly over the dough, then sprinkle about 1/2 cup diced onions over that.

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Top with cheese, then place on the pizza stone in your oven.

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza by Webicurean

Less than 15 minutes later, you’ll have golden, cheesy goodness.

Here’s the printable recipe:

Mystical Double Cheese Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Inspired by the movie Mystic Pizza, the unique blend of Portuguese spices in the sauce steals the show.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground piri-piri chilies or cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pizza Dough (I use Trader Joe's or you can make your own)
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (above)
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 1½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Cornmeal
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together sauce ingredients, set aside. For best results, make this a few hours in advance (up to overnight) to let the flavors blend.
  1. Preheat oven and pizza stone 450F.
  2. Roll out the pizza dough into about a 12-inch round on a lightly floured board.
  3. Spread a handful of cornmeal on a pizza peel, and transfer the dough to the paddle.
  4. Spread 1 cup of the pizza sauce evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the diced onions over that, then top with the Mozzarella.
  5. Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone, and bake 12-15 minutes until the edges and top start to brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  6. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.


Let’s see what the others have cooked up for you.

Toast (bready things)

No Reservations (soups and salads)

Today’s Special (fish, chicken, beef, and pork)

Forks Over Knives (veggie-heavy dishes and sides)

Udon (pasta and noodles)

Just Desserts (sweet treats)

Bottle Shock (beverages)

Sunday Supper Movement I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Movie-Inspired recipes!  Feel free to leave links and/or recipes in the comments.  Also, please join us for our live twitter chat tonight at 7pm (Eastern) using the#SundaySupper hashtag, and check out the Sunday Supper board on Pinterest.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Coming to Orlando July 19-21, the first annual Food and Wine Conference sponsored by #SundaySupper. Visit the website to learn more and join in on the fun.

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