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.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon @VillageGirlBlog April 14, 2013 at 5:05 am

Your pizza looks awesome! Move over Mystic Pizza. I really want to watch that movie now.


Heather @girlichef April 14, 2013 at 5:06 am

It’s true. I can never stop thinking about pizza…and what my be in Leona’s…when I watch Mystic Pizza! And of, I’m gonna have to dust it off and watch it again this week, because you’ve got me craving it (the movie and some pizza) all over again. I love the sound of your distinctive sauce, Anne.


Renee April 14, 2013 at 5:42 am

I have to confess I have not watched Mystic Pizza. I know, I know, I really should. However, I do make pizza and I really want to make it with your sauce. The spices and flavors of it sound incredible.


Family Foodie April 14, 2013 at 6:04 am

Love this movie and that is my favorite line from the movie… you just don’t monkey around!


Jen @JuanitasCocina April 14, 2013 at 6:26 am

Love this movie! And I love this pizza! Yours is gorgeous!


Shelby | Diabetic Foodie April 14, 2013 at 6:30 am

Oooh, I have some piri piri hot sauce – never thought to use it in pizza sauce! Great looking pizza.


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 14, 2013 at 6:52 am

Your pizza looks delish! I also love TJ’s pizza dough, so good!! Mystic Pizza is such a good movie, I think I need to watch it again.


Amanda @ MarocMama April 14, 2013 at 7:11 am

This looks way better than a pizza you get in a restaurant! Love it!


Angie @ Big Bear's Wife April 14, 2013 at 8:32 am

that is one beautiful homemade pizza!!


Liz April 14, 2013 at 9:13 am

Another fantastic pizza recipe! Your crust and toppings sound amazing…I am totally craving this! Beautifully done!


Diana @GourmetDrizzles April 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

Love, love, love this movie! And what a beautiful pizza… and really nice flavor combinations in the sauce!


Tara April 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

Your pizza is inspiring!! I have never made one to look that good, amazing pictures too!!


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen April 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

Just so you know, I opened this post and the fatty in me went to see if there was any pizza in the freezer for tonight… there is! That bubbly pizza made me hungry Anne! Mystic pizza had us all wanting a slice.


Conni @FoodieArmyWife April 14, 2013 at 11:37 am

Okay, I am seriously going to have to watch this movie. I never have, but I hear about it so much – it’s going to go on the Netflix queue immediately – and the pizza looks DELICIOUS!!!


Sarah April 14, 2013 at 11:39 am

My sister would love this – she ONLY eats cheese pizza, and the cheesier the better


Megan April 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I. Want. That. Pizza. NOW!!! Oh my goodness!


Katie April 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

This looks like pizza perfection! The crust looks crispy, and the cheese is perfectly golden! Well done!!


Pam @ Blueberries And Blessings April 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm

This is great! My sister lives near Mystic, so this movie has always made me smile. Delicious looking pizza!


Hezzi-D April 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

There is nothing like a good homemade pizza. I love the herbs you’ve added to your sauce. Sounds super yummy!


Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) April 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Love Mystic Pizza! I have a friend who recently moved close to there so the movie has been on mind mind quite a bit lately. Your pizza looks wonderful!


Martin D Redmond April 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing “Mystic Pizza”…but I’ve found much pleasure in seeing your recipe and photos! I like the piri-pire chiles twist, and love it when the pizza crust has a dusting of cornmeal. Great post!


Tammi @ Momma's Meals April 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Gosh this looks so delish! I was inspired by the same movie, love it!! LOVE me some pizza, you make it look so easy and yummy!


ball March 7, 2014 at 12:51 am

Thank you for share.It very nice.I like to eat pizza.


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