High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza and CODA

Welcome to Pizza and a Movie! If you’ve been following the blog for a bit, you know I am a big fan of savory and sweet combinations. Add some heat and I am all in! Today’s pizza is a wonderful combination of those three flavors, with a lovely anise note thrown in for a complex flavor combination that really sings. Speaking of singing, today’s movie is a recommendation from my Mom. The new film CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) is a coming of age story about a young woman who happens to be the only hearing member of her family. But let’s start with the pizza: It’s the High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza!

High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

I call this pizza High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza because there is simply too much going on to list out all the toppings in its name; and in my dream pizzeria restaurant, every pizza needs a cool name. So what’s on the High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza? Let’s get to it!

High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

One of the most important flavors in this pie is the hot Italian sausage. This particular sausage has fennel in it, which is where we get our first layer of anise flavor. I cooked up the sausage earlier in the day and had it ready to go. Going into the oven our other toppings are grated mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and little mozzarella pearls. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

building the High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

Roll, stretch or spin out your dough to roughly 12-inches. Spread a layer of mozzarella cheese. Top the grated mozzarella with pepperoni. Then the cooked Italian sausage. Finally, nestle in the mozzarella pearls.

Bake this pizza for about 15 minutes, until the crust is puffy and golden, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

When it comes out of the oven, top it with a drizzle of Mikes Hot Honey, fresh grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle on fresh tarragon leaves.

High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

I really love this pizza. It will be on my menu, somewhere, someday! The flavor of the fennel seeds in the sausage are emphasized by the fresh anise flavor of the tarragon, which cools and compliments the heat of the hot honey and the spicy sausage and pepperoni. The grated mozzarella is the perfect base and the mozzarella pearls provide gooey, melty richness on top. A sharpness from the Parmesan plays so well with the sweetness of the honey. A symphony of flavors in one glorious pizza!

High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

Movie Night:

We have our High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza ready, so let’s get to this week’s movie. CODA is an acronym that stands for Child of Deaf Adults. This coming of age story stars Emilia Jones as Ruby Rossi, a hard working young woman growing up in a family of fishermen. Ruby faces the struggles of growing up, wanting independence and discovering herself, yet feeling the pull of staying back to help her family reinvent their business. Her father realizes her potential, though and pushes her out of the nest.

CODA has some really funny moments (especially from Troy Kostur, playing the father, Frank), and I really enjoyed seeing Marlee Matlin who plays the mom, Jackie Rossi. I read a few articles interviewing members of the deaf community about what the movie got right, and what it got wrong. The overwhelming opinion was that the movie got a lot right. Perhaps due to Marlee Matlin’s insistence that the deaf characters be played by deaf actors – providing a more authentic portrayal of the Rossi family. Put CODA on your must-see movie list; it’s wonderful story, with great performances by all. CODA is available to stream on Apple TV+.

Thank you all so much for joining me today for Pizza and a Movie. For a different pizza featuring honey as a topping, try the Honey Bear Pizza, it’s another perfect blend of sweet and savory!

Be sure to tune into Djalali Cooks tomorrow because I have a special treat for you: my husband Alex will be making semi-regular appearances on Saturdays with a new series called Djalali Cooks Too; sharing some of his favorite recipes with all of you. Thank you again, take care and be well, xo Kelly

High Ridge Hot Honey Pizza

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Dinner, Main Course American/Italian
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 15 Minutes Total Time: 35 Minutes

Fresh tarragon cools and compliments spicy sausage and pepperoni. With grated mozzarella and mozzarella pearls. Parmesan tames the sweetness of the honey.


  • 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 oz. Pepperoni
  • 1 lb. Hot Italian Sausage, cooked and drained
  • Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
  • Mike's Hot Honey
  • Fresh Tarragon Leaves
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese



Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


On a floured pizza peel, dust the dough with flour and create a crust around the perimeter of the dough and flatten down the center.


Stretch it out on the backs of your hands, left hand over right hand, until the dough is roughly 12-inches around.


Add more flour evenly on the peel and lay the dough on the peel.


First add grated mozzarella cheese.


Top with a layer of pepperoni, then sausage. Top the sausage with mozzarella pearls.


Bake the pizza for 15 minutes or until the crust is puffy and golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.


Top the baked pizza with drizzles of Mike's Hot Honey, top with grated Parmesan and fresh tarragon leaves.

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  • Terry
    September 10, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Another great pizza can’t wait to make this one. So excited Alex will be there tomorrow can’t wait to see what he’s making. The movie was a good one and I will watch it again. I’m glad you checked it out have a great Friday ♥️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 10, 2021 at 9:46 am

      Yes, thanks for the movie rec, Mom. This pizza is a really great combination, I am sure you will really enjoy it! xo Kelly

  • Suzanne Smith
    September 10, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Your description of the flavors has me drooling! Lol. I saw Marlee Matlin being interviewed about this. She’s inspiring. I love her. Hope it’s a success!

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 10, 2021 at 11:25 am

      Hi Suzanne, it’s a drool-worthy pizza! I really liked Marlee Matlin in The West Wing, and it’s fun to see her play such a different character in this movie. I hope this movie does well, too. So far it has great reviews – I hope people pay attention to those reviews and give this one a watch! Thanks so much for tuning in today, xo Kelly

  • Mari
    September 10, 2021 at 11:28 am

    I honestly don’t know which looks better; the pizza or the movie. The pizza looks so impossibly good, and the movie is right up my alley. We will be checking that out. I love that the title is a clever play on words. Playing with words and puns are great favorites with the family, because we are all communicators and we love to laugh. Some people might wish we didn’t communicate quite so much, but we are what we are. I will definitely get the hot honey, and hope we don’t eat it all before I make the pizza. Perhaps I had better buy two jars. ?. Now for this week’s edition of Stump The Chef. Last week I gave a very cryptic clue and mentioned that we always ate ham on October Second. If anyone guessed it was the birthday of Groucho Marx, well done! The first movie for your consideration is Duck Soup, which is one of my all time favorites. If you like zany and crazy, and the Marx Brothers, this one is for you. If you like suspense, and menace, there is Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Raymond Burr, who reinvented the word terrifying. Just to keep you further off balance, my third pick is D.A.R.Y.L. which was one of my kids’ favorite movies , and I liked it too. As usual there are bad scientists, good scientists, an unpleasant military big wig, clever kids and a sweet ending. Your typical kid’s movie from the 80’s. I started tying this at 10 this morning and Nicholas kept interrupting, so it took this long to finish. I was having trouble picking movies after Duck Soup because Nicholas was walking across my iPad and landing on delete more often than not. Be glad you have dogs. It’s molting season again and I just picked ten feathers off the floor; with birds it always seems to be molting season, and it’s always open season on us! Have a great weekend, and thanks to Terry for suggesting this week’s movie, thanks to Kelly for passing it along, and of course, we always love Kelly for the pizza.

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 10, 2021 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Mari, I suppose I might prefer the feather shedding to the dog shedding! Sadie is white and her shed hair sticks to everything, not to mention the white dog hair tumbleweeds!

      What challenging movies you have chosen for today! For Duck Soup, I immediately thought of frying french fries in duck fat, tossing the fries in a seasoning of salt, pepper and fresh parsley. Then, pouring the bowl of seasoned fries on a plain mozzarella cheese pizza (no sauce); sprinkle fresh grated Parmesan over the pie.
      Rear Window would have to be a classic New York Style Pizza – plain cheese slice.
      And for D.A.R.Y.L. I would do a classic, old school taco pizza – only because this movie reminds me of being 10 years old and I really liked taco pizza when I was 10. LOL! Have a great weekend, Mari. xo Kelly

  • Sylvia Espinoza
    September 10, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Hi, Kelly! Still enjoying your blog every day. Some days it’s late afternoon or evening. I read it when undistracted, to soak in every word and picture, to say nothing of the Blog Sister comments, like Mari’s! Therapeutic for this busy senior. Today’s offering is wonderful and just when I was asking self how one fabulous offering rolls into another, the news of Alex and Djalali Cooks Too comes along. Wow! So excited! September moving fast and I need to make one of your dishes and e-mail the pic pronto! Very happy the Djalali Family is enjoying success out of the hard work you do. Hugs! ?

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 10, 2021 at 11:54 am

      Hi Sylvia, so good to hear from you today! I am happy you are finding time in your busy days to relax and enjoy the blog – that makes my day! Please do make a dish and send a pic! I am so excited to see what readers choose to make. Have a wonderful weekend! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    September 10, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Those were all great pizza ideas, and my kids still ask for taco pizza on occasion. I will admit to liking it myself, although the dairy allergy makes it more challenging. Like Sylvia, I love hanging out here to see what everyone has to say. I feel like we are all friends, and like the best friends, you help us learn, and you make us smile and laugh. Everyone here is a joy to spend time with, and it feels like we have all known each other for a long time. I am looking forward to seeing what Alex comes up with. It should be fun. Next week’s challenge may not be movies. I am totally looking forward to it! ?