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Date Night – The Godfather of Good Pizza

couple enjoying a night together

This date night idea, courtesy of relationship author Don Macleod, incorporates the three F’s—food, film and fun.

It’s Friday night. You’ve had a busy week, and you’re beat. You want to make something different for supper, but you don’t have the energy for a fifteen-ingredient gourmet meal that’ll have you laboring over the stove for two hours (and then spending another hour in clean up!). Give this idea a think.

Food: Here’s a tasty, simple favorite that’s a tradition in Rome—potato pizza. It’s way better than it sounds. What you’ll need: pizza crust, yellow potatoes, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Buy a thin crust pizza shell. If you prefer to use prepared pizza dough or make your own from scratch, shape and cook it in a rectangular pan for authenticity. Brush a little olive oil over the pizza crust. Now slice the potatoes into thin slices, leaving the skin on. Put them in a bowl, add a bit of olive oil and some salt and pepper, and mix by hand. Layer the potato slices over the pizza crust, overlapping them. You can go all the way to the edge of the crust.

Put it in the oven—I bake this pizza at around 400°F for around 20 minutes and it comes out nice, but you’ll want to keep an eye on it to bake it the way you prefer. How hot and how long you bake it will also depend on how thinly you’ve sliced your potatoes (too thin is better than too thick) and what kind of pizza crust you’re using. If you want the potatoes to brown up at the end, put the oven on broil for the last few minutes. While I don’t typically add cheese to this pizza, you certainly can. I would let it bake for a while first, then carefully sprinkle some mozzarella or parmesan on top when it’s almost done to prevent the cheese from burning.

Uncork a bottle (or two) of Italian wine while you’re waiting for your pizza to cook. We like a Sangiovese with this (and just about any) pizza. When it’s baked to your idea of perfection, take it out of the oven and slice it up (or cut it with scissors for a true Roman touch). Bravo!

Film:  Pair this pizza with a film set in Italy. If you’re in the mood for a colorful thriller, try The Talented Mr. Ripley (Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, 1999) for an enjoyable all-round film with amazing locations.

But let’s face it – the godfather of films set in Italy is, well, The Godfather (Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, 1972). Actually set in Sicily, this opulent movie follows the epic story of the Corleone crime family. And if you really want to kick back and finish off a wine bottle or two, you can make a marathon of it with the whole trilogy. The Godfather and the Godfather Part II are probably two of the best movies ever made.

Fun:  Before the movie ends, or between the first and second films, press “pause” and head to the bedroom. Light a candle or two, play some Italian music (why not go for the best of the best with Pavarotti?) and give your partner a long, luxurious head-to-toe massage. Let the wine, music, and atmosphere work their magic before returning to the movie. I can’t think of a more fun way to spend intermission.


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