Pizza Nite at Palazzo Pisano (Food, Art + Love)

Tim and Suz Pisano in their kitchen making Grandma Crognale's pizza dough


  • Home made pizza (including the crust)
  • Wine (including champagne during preparation, a must)
  • Salad (with homemade crotons + homemade dressing)

Partners in crime:     Suz and Tom Pisano (happy accomplice Me)

So I invited myself over to Suz and Tom’s place after a missed opportunity to eat pizza and wine the week before, I was not going to let that happen again.

“So what can I bring?”  I asked Suz

“Just some wine.”

“Arugula, pepperoni…”

“Just wine.”

(I can be a little hard-headed but I figured I would just bring a bottle of wine.)

How it all came together. (The detailed recipe below, this is just the highlight reel)

Using Grandma’s pizza dough recipe Suz started up the process while Tom opened up a bottle of champagne.  (Nice).

Essential ingredient for pizza making

The yeast had been doing it thing, while Suz mixed two kinds of flour and melted the Crisco which she later added to the yeast. (Yes Grandma’s dough recipe calls for Crisco.)  Then the well, Suz says she hates this part, her well always breaks.  Tim would neither confirm nor deny this (good husband that man.)

So they added the eggs and then the yeast-Crisco mixture. Blend, blend, sip more champagne, etc etc.


So While the dough rose, Tim took me on a tour of his magnificent studio on the top floor of their house.  Below are pictures of the studio and some Tim’s amazing work.

This was one of my favorites Tim's poetry and prose book on antique paper


Once the dough had risen Suz called us back into the kitchen to get the pizza made.

I was happy to see a variety of wonderful Italian meats bought at the Strip District market that day, also some pineapple!

First pizza!  I was ready so hungry and the champagne, well…so what was there to do but open a bottle of red wine?  No?  Si!

Suz also made a yummy salad with homemade croutons and homemade dressing.  It was so very good.

Ready to eat and added reinforcements!

Yes it was that good!

Pizza dough according to Concetta Crognale (+ some notes and suggestions from Suz indicated by an *)

  • 12 cups of flour
  • 4 cups of a water
  • 2 eggs
  • CRISCO (1/2 cup melted)
  • 3 TBSP Sugar
  • 2 Package yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Place 2 pkgs. yeast in small bowl with 1 1/2 cups warm water
*over 110 degrees
Add 3 TBSP sugar
Allow to get bubbly to activate yeast- takes about 10 minutes

Melt CRISCO & add to the balance of water (2 & 1/2 cups)
*this congeals immediately & looks weird but it’s the secret ingredient!

On the table or counter top- make a well with 11 cups of flour, reserve 1 cup.
Add yeast to center of well, add eggs, combine with a fork.
Add CRISCO/water mixture, salt & mix again.

Slowly & evenly from all sides of well, start to incorporate the flour to the liquids. Dough will begin to form. Continue to incorporate flour until soft & slightly sticky. You may need all or just a portion of the reserved cup of flour to achieve this. Once soft & sticky, start to knead dough.

Knead to smooth elastic dough- 10 – 12 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap & a maupine (kitchen towel). Let rise about 1 & 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down & use as you choose!

We bake at 450 & let the pie cool at least 8 minutes before cutting!

*We bag & freeze dough balls at this stage or put a couple in the fridge for focaccia!

*To make focaccia- oil a cake pan, add olives, veggies, cheese to top & press down. Bake at 400.

*We pre-bake pizza shells for a crispier pie. Pre-bake dough for 5 minutes before adding sauce, cheese & toppings.

The chef is pleased! As were we all.

Very yummy, very good.

5 Responses to “Pizza Nite at Palazzo Pisano (Food, Art + Love)”
  1. vintagejenta says:

    Oooh! I love pizza. Especially A) pizza that is not perfectly shaped and B) pizza with pineapple on it! Except I like just pineapple and a nice salty cheese. Not spicy peppers for this girl’s delicate Midwestern palate.

    Also – the plates are beautiful. Love that they are square and have pretty pictures all over them.

    Have to ask about the mesh baking sheet, though – did Suz explain that? ‘Cause I’m curious to know what it does to the crust. I always just bake mine on a regular baking sheet with plenty of flour to prevent sticking.

  2. A little jealous here, I must say. Looks like a very fun evening, and holy cats, that pizza looks delicious.

  3. idiadega says:

    Oh cool question. Let me ask Suz and get back to ya on that one….

    • Tereneh says:

      Suz says: “I use the wire rack instead of a stone or cookie sheet. The dough is super soft & needs to be supported. The wire rack ensures a crispy bottom.”

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