A slice of heaven, a slice of life, the ultimate comfort food. Call it what you will, pizza is loved by everyone … and why not? It’s the perfect food: baked dough, tomatoes (usually), cheese and herbs. Starting with these basics, anyone can become a pizzaiolo for a day, adding ingredients to suit her or his fancy, or to feature whatever is best in the garden or market.
To help fire up your pizza-making creativity, we’ve gathered recipes from five of America’s top chefs—authors, restaurateurs and television hosts. Pizza makers often debate the finer points of their art—such as whether to make a deep dish or thin-crust pie; whether to use baking stones or pans; or whether to bake in a wood-fired or coal-heated oven. But all agree on this: The key to making great pizza is to use the freshest ingredients you can find.
• Mario Batali's Pizza Margherita
• Ina Garten's Pissaladière Provençal
• Ellie Krieger's Arugula, Carmelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza
• Deborah Madison's White Pizza with Sage
• Tyler Florence's Grilled Pizza with Mozzarella di Bufala and Sausage
Linda Shockley is a writer based in New York City, home of the New York slice. She feels no shame in admitting that she still loves a slice of cold pizza for breakfast.