That’s Amore!

Ah, welcome to June’s Food ‘n Flix post which features Moonstruck.


Now, please pause for a musical interlude.

Moonstruck opens with this Dean Martin classic.   I could not help but hum (and then sing) along.   I had forgotten how much I loved this film (and this song.)

When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore!
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore!
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing “Vita bella”
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella.

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool
That’s amore!

As I watched the main character, Loretta (played by Cher), accept a  marriage proposal and just settle for the sake of convenience, this song continued to run through my head.  Her mother, Rose, asks, “Do you love him, Loretta?”

“No,” Loretta answers.

“Good.  When you love them they drive you crazy because they know they can.”

Sage advice….still hummin’ away.

When Loretta goes to visit her fiance’s estranged brother (Nicholas Cage in a typical brooding-moody-misunderstood-Nicholas Cage-character) to try to mend fences, I kept thinking of  this song.

Even as Ronnie (Cage) and Loretta are moved to tears (and love) at La Boheme, I was still swaying to “That’s Amore!”

But, I did try to buckle down and notice the food in the film.

Let’s see, there was the manicotti that Loretta orders for Johnny to eat before his long flight to Sicily to bid farewell to his death-bed ridden mother.  “That’ll give you a base for your stomach,” she urges.

moonstruck eggs

There’s Rose’s classic eggs.  Can she be any more excited (not) for her daughter’s upcoming nuptials?  “We’ll sell the house….”

moonstruck bakery

There was Ronnie’s bakery, full of freshly baked bread.   “They say bread is life,” he ironically (and broodingly) states.

There was the steak that Loretta cooks for Ronnie on their first meeting. “You’ll eat this one bloody to feed your blood,” she chastises him.

There was the typical Italian family style dinner that Rose cooks.   She is outraged by a number of things in her life at this point but her father-in-law bears the verbal brunt:  “Old man, you give those dogs another piece of my food and I’m gonna kick you ’til you’re dead!”

If you have seen the film, you know that this is one wacky, old-school, Italian family.


Quotable quotes abound from this film and I could go on and on….

You know it, though, I am still humming along with Dino….”That’s amore!”

I could not get past the pizza pie.  (Pasta fazool was an option as well but I couldn’t get past it rhyming with drool.)

There is no better way for me to pay homage to amore than with a pizza anyway.  I think The Hubs may have married me for my pizza.  (It definitely wasn’t for my cinnamon rolls.)   He likes his pizza Chicago-style with the sauce on top.  I wanted to branch out a bit, and I sought some “authentic” Sicilian pizza recipes.   I combined a few so if you want to see the inspirations you can check out Sicilian Pizza and Mario Batali’s recipe.

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Big Pizza Pie–That’s amore!” Sicilian Pizza
inspired by Moonstruck for Food ‘n Flix

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 c. pureed San Marzano tomatoes
Salt, pepper and sugar, to taste
1 1/2  t. anchovy paste (or 3 anchovies, finely chopped)
8 oz. Caciovera, thinly sliced (May substitute Caciocavallo.)
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
1/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 t. fresh oregano, chopped
Pizza dough

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add onions.   Cook over medium heat, 20 minutes or so, until caramelized.

Add pureed tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and sugar (if desired). Add anchovy paste. Stir and cook on medium heat until bubbly.   Reduce to a very low simmer.  Simmer for about five minutes and then turn off heat.

On a baking sheet, roll out dough into a rectangle.  Layer cheese slices and grated cheeses.   Top with the onion-tomato sauce and use a rubber scraper to spread tomato sauce equally. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.  Let pizza set for about 10 minutes to let dough rise just a bit.

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The “Big Pizza Pie” ready to be put in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and bread crumbs are browned.   Remove from oven and let set for 5-10 minutes.

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Fresh from the oven.

Slice and enjoy!

If you need a basic pizza dough recipe, here you go:

For Pizza Dough:

1 c. warm water
2 1/4 t. yeast
2 t. honey
3 to 3 1/4 c. flour
1 T. extra virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together water, yeast and honey.  Let set for 5 minutes.

Using the dough hook, mix in 3 cups of flour and olive oil.    Knead with dough hook for about 5 minutes.   Add more flour if necessary. Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled (30-45 minutes).

If I have inspired you or sparked your interest to view Moonstruck, you still have time to participate in Food ‘n Flix for June.   For more information, click here.   You have until June 27 to post your dish.  I am hosting this month and would love for you to participate.

Aside:   Because this post is entitled “That’s Amore!”, I doubled the dough recipe and to make The Hubs’ favorite pizza as well.   I made the pizza that he fell in love with when he fell in love with me.

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Bruschetta Pizza for The Hubs.

You can find the recipe for this one here.



Just remember, you still have until June 27 to play along and join us.

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