Olive “Spider” Pizza with Vodka Sauce
Easy to make and delightfully spooky (without being too scary), the spider-shaped olives on this pizza are a fun way to involve kids in holiday cooking. An orange vodka sauce serves as the festive background to this salty black spider family, along with a healthy dose of mozzarella.
When it comes to cutting and placing the spiders, be sure to follow along with our photos and video. With a few small cuts and some careful placement, you’ll have yourself a creature! Roughly six spiders will fit on a 12” pizza using our method. We’ve found that some of our Black Widows lose their legs during the launching process, so don’t be afraid to use a fork to shimmy a loose limb back into place once the pizza is out of the oven. It’s easy to fix and no one will be the wiser!
There’s nothing too complicated about this pizza, and that’s why we love it. It will make your Halloween party spread festive and just a little creepy without any sacrifices… on flavor, that is. [Cue maniacal laughing.]
This recipe appears in the article “Get Silly With Your Halloween Spread, Your Kids Will Love You For It.”
Notes: Each spider can be made using one olive. If you’re worried about kids + vodka, don’t worry: All of the alcohol burns off while cooking!
four 12” pizzas
24 ounces vodka sauce
immersion or countertop blender
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper
Ooni pizza oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Perforated Pizza Peel
Ooni Pizza Turning Peel
Ooni Pizza Cutter Wheel or Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade
Four 250-gram dough balls
For the vodka sauce
2 tablespoons (30 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves (40 grams) garlic, sliced
2 small shallot (80 grams), sliced thin
1½ tablespoons (5 grams) oregano
3 tablespoons (8 grams) red chile flakes
1 tablespoon (15 grams) kosher salt
2 tablespoons (5 grams) black pepper, ground
1 tablespoon (15 grams) vodka
28 ounces (800 grams) crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons (60 grams) heavy cream
1½ ounces (40 grams) Parmesan
For the toppings
11 ounces (320 grams) shredded mozzarella
about 24-30 olives (100 grams) black olives Method
This recipe would suit a variety of pizza styles, but we think our classic pizza dough would be a great fit. Make sure to prepare your dough ahead of time to ensure it rises at room temperature before firing up your oven.
For the vodka sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one minute. Add the shallots; stir, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the herbs and spices, and cook until the garlic and onions begin to caramelize, about 5 more minutes. Pour in the vodka and cook until the alcohol has evaporated, about one more minute. Mix in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce has broken down to a smooth and uniform texture, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the cream and Parmesan, then purée with an immersion blender or countertop blender until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Fire up your oven, aiming for 850 to 950°F (450 to 500°C) on the stone baking board inside. (Use an infrared thermometer to quickly and accurately check the temperature of the stone.)Place a dough ball on your lightly floured work surface. Push the air from the center out to the edge using your fingers. Stretch the dough out to a 12-inch-round base, then lay the stretched dough over your lightly floured pizza peel or countertop. Spread 80 grams (about 6 tablespoons) of vodka sauce in the center of the pizza.
Sprinkle a quarter of your mozzarella evenly over the sauce.
To create the olive spiders, slice each olive in half lengthwise. Use one half for the spider “body” and cut the other half into 6 strips roughly the same width to create the legs.When topping the pizza, place 3 slices on either side of the olive “spider body.” Repeat until you have covered the pizza with spiders. (Roughly 6 spiders will fit on a 12” pizza.) Cook for 60 to 90 seconds, rotating every 20 seconds or so to ensure an even bake. Remove from the oven when finished and slice, trying to keep your olive spiders intact. Repeat for the remaining three pizzas ,and enjoy!