This pizza burger will take your next cookout up a notch. I’ve taken the quintessential American burger and made an Italian version of it by adding ingredients you’d typically find on a pizza. And that’s how this burger got its name: pizzaiola refers not only to a female pizza maker but also to the tomato and herb sauce used on pizzas.
Keep the grilling going with my ultimate guide to grilling vegetables!
Burgers à la Pizzaiola
For the Burgers:
- 3 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
- 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained
- 1/3 packed cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups about 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ pounds 85% lean ground beef
For the Spread:
- 1 cup 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ½-inch-thick slices rustic sourdough bread or 6 (4-inch) squares focaccia bread, sliced in half horizontally
For the burgers:
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or heat a gas or charcoal grill.
- In a food processor, pulse together the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaves, Parmesan, ¾ cup of the mozzarella, the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper until blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef, and using a wooden spoon or clean hands, mix until combined. Form the mixture into 6 patties, each about ½ inch thick.
- Grill the burgers for 4 minutes. Flip the burgers and add the remaining 1 ¼ cups mozzarella to the tops of the burgers, about 3 tablespoons each. Continue to cook for another 4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
For the spread:
- In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, basil, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Brush the bread with the olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Spread one side of each bread slice with the mascarpone spread. Place the burgers on 6 slices of the grilled bread and top with the remaining bread slices, mascarpone side down.