Men Will Be Boys: Jason Joseph Wins the “Name a Pizza for Mike Napoli” Contest at Cane Rosso

Big Cheeses: Evan Grant, Jay Jerrier, Eric Nadel.
photography by Kevin Marple

Tuesday night, pizza lover and baseball writer, Evan Grant, and pizza maker and baseball lover, Jay Jerrier held the finals of the “Name a Pizza for Mike Napoli” contest at Cane Rosso. Four of the five finalists showed up to sample their until-then-never-tasted pizza recipes. Jerrier went to great lengths to make the pies. “We don’t make an Alfredo sauce, so I had to create one for Jason Joseph’s “Angel Tears” entry,” Jerrier said.

I slinked in at the end of the evening to try the pies and I’ve got to hand it to all who were picked in the finals. It was a tough decision. My favorite was Doug Fusella’s “The Cane Rosso Napoli Experience” with Jimmy’s sausage, meatballs, sopressata, spinach, and jalapenos. But Grant and Jerrier picked Joseph’s “Angel Tears,” a pie of Italian sausage, salami, sweet onion, jalapenos, roasted garlic, spinach, Roma tomatoes, and mozzarella dusted with Romano. Jump for all of the recipes and the rationale behind the ingredients below. AND PHOTOS!

Winner Jason Joseph and finalist Doug Fusella. Photo by Jason Acton.
photography by Kevin Marple

Angel Tears

WINNER!!! Created by: Jason Joseph

Alfredo Sauce (It’s the best sauce.)
Italian Sausage (Hmmm)
Salami (For a Nappy Grand Salami)
Sweet Onion (For the sweet sweet tears of the Angels)
Jalapenos (For the Texas heat)
Roasted Garlic (To ward off injury)
Spinach (For a Napoli power up)
Roma tomatoes
Dusted with Romano

Angel Tears (left) and Take it Like a Napoli Pie (right) pictured with Eric Nadel.
photography by Kevin Marple

Take It Like a Napoli Pie

Created by: Camille Broadway

A savory pizza in honor of Napoli’s post-season plate collisions with Sean Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera.

Tomato Sauce (for Napoli’s willingness to get crushed in the line of duty)
Hot Soppresata, Prosciutto Cotto and Jimmy’s Hot Sausage (three meats representing the collision of three substantive men. The ham is also a nod to the Cuban sandwich in South Florida where Rodriguez/Napoli grew up and to Tampa where the first collision occurred and where Italian salami often gets added to Cuban sandwiches.)
Olives – a light sprinkling (representing that plug of tobacco that Napoli is still looking for after the Tampa collision)
Mozzarella di Bufala (a water buffalo cheese because I’m pretty sure Cabrera is the size of a small water buffalo)

The Cane Rosso Napoli Experience

Created by: Doug Fusella

Gotta be meaty, Nap’s a big boy

Jimmy’s sausage (for the Nap-Nap, um, Winner)
Sliced Meatballs (he is a catcher, has to have …)
Hot Sopressata (that stuff rocks, and Italians need spice)
Spinach (for the strength of the Nap)
Sliced Jalapenos (this is Texas, gotta be hot)

The defining aspect of the Napoli Pie, its missing a quarter, since Mike is a Heat Fan, we know they can only handle the first three quarters.

Max, Jamey, and Erica Newberg with their Napoli Ever After Pie.
photography by Scott Womack

Napoli Ever After

Created by Jamey Newberg

Jimmy’s Sausage (commemorating Napoli’s game-tying, two-run single off TB’s James Shields in Game Two of the 2011 ALDS)
Prosciutto Cotto (in honor of journeyman outfielder Henry Cotto, whose home run total in 10 big league seasons was about one-third of Napoli’s total in just six seasons)
Soppressata (because it just sounds bad-ass)
Calabrian chiles (the “No Pepper” rule in baseball does not apply)
Artichokes (“R.T. Chokes” – Napoli went 4 for 5 in 2011 off Angels righthander Rich Thompson, his old teammate . . . with two doubles and a home run among his four hits)
Burrata (fresh Italian cheese – Napoli’s throws to second base)
Sea Salt (short for “See ya, Salty,” as Napoli cured the Rangers’ situation at catcher)

And Evan Grant’s unofficial entry:

The Grand Salami

Start with traditional Cane Rosso sauce and cheese mix, then add:
Chopped fresh basil (It’s got three meanings on this pizza. To represent the green of the field, the green Napoli is going to earn this season and the green of the Italian flag).
Hot Soppresata (t’s the red in the Italian flag, and the spicy salami in this big pie).
Crumbled Jimmy’s Sausage (It’s the dirt for “The Dirtbag.”)
A small thin ring of smoked provolone (It’s the white of the Italian flag and also it could represent all those teams who Napoli, well, smoked last year)
A very slight dusting of crushed sunflower seeds (Well, that’s the magic dust that Ron Washington seems to sprinkle on every former Angel that comes through here to get huge results and it’s a tribute the togetherness of the 2011 team)

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