The Hot Italian with Burrata and Fantastic Fungi

Hello and welcome to Pizza and a Movie! Today, I have a pizza that my dear reader Mari will recognize from her weekly Stump the Chef game. In the comments section of each Pizza and a Movie post, Mari challenges me to come up with pizza combinations for specific movies. I thought of today’s pizza when she challenged me to come up with something for A Clockwork Orange. The pizza sounded so good I wanted to make it ASAP, even though today, our movie is a bit more…tame, shall we say? Today’s movie is connected to this week’s Ingredient Spotlight on Mushrooms. Fantastic Fungi is a movie on Netflix all about the world of Fungi. But let’s get right to The Hot Italian with Burrata.

Hot Italian with Burrata

This pizza is so simple and so well-balanced. Brown about one pound of hot Italian sausage and have that ready to go. Other than that, we have buttery Fontina cheese as the base. That’s all that’s going into the oven on the dough. When it comes out though, we will top it with chopped Calabrian chilis and burrata cheese. Preheat your home oven to 450 degrees.

Hot Italian with Burrata ingredients

Build the Pizza

Roll, spin or stretch out the dough to about a 12-inch round. Then top with about 1 cup of grated Fontina cheese. Top the cheese with the cooked hot Italian sausage.

sausage and cheese on pizza dough

This pizza is ready for the oven! We are back out at the wood oven today. It has been over a month since we fired it up. We tried to shoot this post yesterday, but we couldn’t get the fire hot enough. A combination of a damp oven (we have had so much rain lately!) and damp wood; so we just let the fire burn so everything could dry out. We were ready to go today with a nice hot oven!

Pizza in wood fired oven

The toppings that finish this pizza are really what make it special. The crushed Delallo Calabrian Chilis are spicy but have a sour note to them, not quite like a pickle, but just enough to give this pizza some acid to balance out the creamy cheese and the rich sausage.

Dollop the crushed chilis on top of the sausage and then tear one ball of burrata into several pieces and place evenly on the pie. The soft texture and cool creamy flavor of the burrata mellows out the spiciness of the sausage and the chilis.

The Hot Italian with Burrata

Hot Italian with Burrata

Given this week’s movie, I should have featured a mushroom pie, but stay tuned because week after next, I will have a great mushroom pie to share with you!

Hot Italian with Burrata

Movie Night: Fantastic Fungi

We have our Hot Italian with Burrata ready, so let’s get to the show! This movie inspired this week’s Ingredient Spotlight on Mushrooms, so I wanted to feature it here today. I absolutely love nature documentaries and this one does not disappoint. This movie covers so many interesting aspects and facts about fungi. The fact that they are their own kingdom is in, and of itself amazing. A fungus called the honey mushroom, in Oregon is the oldest living thing on this planet! Fungi has anti-viral properties, as well as the ability to clean up oil spills. And we all know about the studies on psilocybin and its positive effects on PTSD, depression and anxiety. There are simply too many amazing fungi facts to list here – watch this movie! Fantastic Fungi is available on Netflix.

Fantastic Fungi features gorgeous time-lapse footage. In fact, there is a short video interview from Wired Magazine with the director of Fantastic Fungi, Louie Schwartzberg. In this interview he describes, and shows, how he got the amazing time-lapse shots featured in the movie. It’s cool to see behind the scenes of the documentary. So check it out!

Thanks everyone for spending some time with me today for Pizza and a Movie, I hope you make this pizza and watch this fascinating documentary! If you make or any other Pizza from Djalali Cooks, send me a pic – I’d love to feature some of your takes on Djalali Cooks recipes. Send images to At the beginning of October, I will compile your images and feature your dish as part of a reader favorites round-up on the blog! Take care and be well! xo Kelly

Hot Italian with Burrata

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Dinner, Main Course Italian
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cooking Time: 15 Minutes Total Time: ~30 Minutes

Buttery Fontina cheese and creamy burrata mellow out spicy Italian sausage, crushed Calabrian chilis bring balance with a spicy/sour note.


  • 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup Grated Fontina Cheese
  • 1 lb. Ground Spicy Italian Sausage, cooked and drained
  • Crushed Calabrian Chilis
  • 1 4-oz. Ball of Burrata 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 Fontina Cheese and top with cooked sausage.


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


After the pizza comes out of the oven, dollop the crushed Calabrian chilis evenly around pizza.


Tear the Burrata into several smallish pieces and distribute them evenly over the pizza.


Slice and Serve!

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  • Mari
    September 17, 2021 at 10:59 am

    In the immortal words of Meg Ryan, “Yes, yes, yes, oh God yes!” This pizza is a winner, and my guys will inhale it before it comes out of the oven. I’m going to look into the Fantastic Fungi because it will be interesting and different, and I love mushrooms. Thank you very much for the kind words, (and the pizza, of course). I am blushing as we speak, and trying to decide what to stump you with. Not that I have ever managed to! Today the birds want to give a hearty TGIF to Sadie, Dante, and Penny. I love those names. Sadie and Penny remind me of the roaring 20s. In my movie, they are flappers with wealthy parents, bottomless trust funds, a fabulous apartment on Lake Shore Drive, and they solve mysteries with a barber turned private detective, named Dante. They have two employees, Nick and Tiberius. Instead of the Baker Street Irregulars, these wise guys are the Lake Shore Loonies. Dante paints in his spare time and has been commissioned to duplicate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of the mayor’s office. While up on the scaffolding, and mixing some Alizarin crimson, he overhears a plot to kill the mayor’s wife. You never can trust mayors and their gum chewing secretaries. Now on to this week’s edition of Stump The Chef. These are some weird choices, but they usually are. The first is “Fellini Satyricon”, which I saw on a Friday night at the Student Union with two friends in college. They interspersed the Marx Brothers with arty films and some that were just plain odd. I chose that to see what you could come up with. The second movie is “The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Dessert”, which my husband and I watched several times. He always ate the popcorn and fell asleep, while I enjoyed the movie. My goal was to get him to watch it so I could have some popcorn, but it never happened. Our final choice is “Time Bandits.” My kids loved that movie and practically memorized all the lines. I did too! David Warner as Evil, was just priceless. The Brits do farce and over the top crazy better than anyone. Next week’s game is movie adjacent, but not a movie, and there may or may not be pizzas involved. I can’t wait for that one just to see what you come up with! The following week we return to pizzas. Happy Friday to you, Alex and the fur babies.

    • Kelly Djalali
      September 17, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      Hello Mari! Your ideas of Sadie and Penny are pretty spot-on. Penny is super sassy and Sadie is her trusty sidekick. Dante thinks he is the muscle, and he is, but since Sadie is bigger (and a little bit dopey) she steps in to stand their ground. They have definitely become quite the team. I haven’t seen Satyricon, but given its premise and where it takes place (Imperial Rome, under the reign of Emperor Nero) I am going to go with the classic Roman flavor of Bucatini all’Amatriciana – skip the pasta though and pile that sauce on a pizza, top with tons of Parmesan when it comes out of the oven.
      I loved Priscilla Queen of the Desert! Such a fun movie with great costumes. I think because this is an Australian film, it has to be a barbecue shrimp pizza.
      I have such great memories of watching Time Bandits on our old VHS player when I was too young to understand the humor and the story. But I have watched it as an adult and it is such a great, weird, and funny movie! Maybe as a nod to Monty Python’s British-ness, I’d do a reverse shepherd’s pie type of pizza, with roasted potatoes layered under the shepherd’s pie filling, topped with some cheddar cheese. Or I guess a black pudding pizza could work too…
      Thanks so much for this week’s challenge! I think the movie idea would make a fun YA book. Have a wonderful weekend, Mari! See you here again soon! xo Kelly

      • Mari
        September 17, 2021 at 1:20 pm

        Those are all great pizzas but the shepherd’s pie pizza is such an amazing idea. That’s what I love about your culinary mind: nothing is off limits, and you are so creative. I have a feeling that your mind in general works that way. So I think the score is now five or six to zero, or is it more? I must be the world’s happiest loser with all these wonderful things you come up with. There is no incentive for me to win the game!