The Gilligan Clan has been out of New York for over 7 years now and one of the things we miss most is a good slice of pizza. It is tough to find a great slice here in Miami, some say it’s because of the water in New York and have shipped it down {I think that is nonsense} but still the pie isn’t up to scratch.

“You wanna call that piece of cracker with some cheese and some tomato juice on it a piece of pizza, go 'head. In New York, they got pieces of pizza a foot wide, five inches thick, whole tomatoes on top, cheese so thick it gives you a heart attack right in your heart -- and you enjoy having that heart attack because it's from New York!.”

So what do you do? Keep eating crappy pizza? No, what we have done is got together with a few friends and decided to make it ourselves.

“I Love Pizza” which we hope to open next week sometime {I shall keep you posted}in Miami Beach is a new concept, New York style pizzas, fresh salads, antipasto, pastries, baristas making coffee, espresso’s and cappuccinos, imported beers and artesian wines. The beauty is in its simplicity!

The picture you see here is the first ever pie made in ‘I Love Pizza”, it was good-not great but for the first one we were happy. It burnt the roof of my mouth though as I wanted to be the first to eat! We will be making dough and sauce for the next week and eating a lot of pizza! If your in the area stop by for a slice {71st and Collins Ave.

So what makes New York pizza so special?
New York style pizza is a style originally developed in New York City {go figure}, where pizza is often sold in oversized, thin and flexible slices. It has a very thick outer crust and a thin middle and often has a rectangular shape. New York style pizza dough is traditionally hand-tossed and light on sauce. The pizza slices are usually eaten folded in half, because its size and flexibility can make it difficult to eat otherwise.

No pans or baking trays are used to bake NY style pizzas; the pizza dough is placed directly on the oven shelf. This can be achieved at home by the use of a pizza stone; however they are ridiculously expensive for what they are and as such are not really a viable proposition. There are viable alternatives to make a New York Pizza. Unglazed quarry tiles are perfect. The theory behind a pizza stone is that they are so hot the stone acts like a brick and sears the dough drawing out the water and making the pizza dough crisp on the outside and still soft and bread like in the center. To do this the pizza stones are heated in the oven first, but an unglazed quarry tile has exactly the same effect.

A quick word of caution: quarry tiles are perfectly safe if they are made of natural red clay and are unglazed. When a tile is glazed there are chemicals used in the process and it is important to keep these out of the food chain.

A second precaution is that the stones are not intended for use in conjunction with any other material, and that means no tin foil or anything else. The object is that the radiant heat from the oven is absorbed into the tile or the stone if you use tin foil then the heat can be reflected and you stone will never get hot enough to draw the moisture out of the pizza.

Never, never, ever put a hot stone or a tile in cold water you run the risk of it cracking like glass. Let it cool down naturally before washing.


1 ½ cups warm water (105F)
4 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons of olive oil
2 ½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of yeast
½ cup cornmeal

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in water.
Add oil and flour and stir with heavy spoon for 1 minute.
Turn out to a lightly floured surface and press into a circle.
Sprinkle yeast evenly over dough and knead for 12 minutes.
Divide dough into portions: 6 oz. for Calzones, 18 oz. for 12 inch, 25 oz. for 15 inch
Roll each portion into a ball. You want a dough ball without visible seams except the bottom.
Place dough balls in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to proof for 1−2 hours at room temperature to use the same day, or store in refrigerator to use the next day.
Place dough ball on lightly floured surface, and lightly flour the top. Use fingertips to evenly flatten out the dough ball. Work from the edges to the center press dough into a 12" circle. Place both hands within the shell edge and stretch with fingertips and palms maintaining an even pressure. Or, use a lightly floured rolling pin to stretch to desired shape.
Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina on pizza peel (a wooden paddle with a handle to slide the pizza in the oven) or a cutting board. The cornmeal allows the pizza to slide onto the stone easily.
After topping the pizza, when you are ready to cook it shake the peel or cutting board to make sure none of the dough is sticking.
Carefully slide the pizza into the oven.
Bake in a 500 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden.

The sauce is very important to the pie, you want it a little sweet but not sugary sweet. A lot of pizzerias use sugar in their sauce but if you want a sweet sauce just use good tomatoes.  I don’t cook my sauce as some places do as I prefer a fresher taste; also you put this in a 500 degree oven so I think it will get cooked in there!


7 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 ½   tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite-cut diced tomatoes, [San Marzano are the best} strained
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.

AND FINALLY…Do you ever notice from the time you hang up the phone until the pizza guy shows up, the only conversation you have is 'Where in the hell is our pizza?'