Valerie Bertinelli: Her Love For Cooking, Growing Up In An Italian Family And How To Make Her Homemade Pizza

Florence Carmela
Valerie BertinelliPhoto

Who isn't a fan of Valerie Bertinelli? She is not only the host of the Food Network series "Valerie's Home Cooking," she is also the author of several popular cookbooks. Valerie Bertinelli is also a Golden Globe Award-winning actress who starred in the classic comedy series "One Day at a Time," as girl-next-door Barbara Cooper. Several years later she starred in another comedy "Hot In Cleveland" with the legendary Betty White.

Her love for cooking started at a young age in Wilmington, Delaware where she is from. According to Mashed "Her father's side of the family hails from Lanzo, Italy, and Bertinelli often shares Italian-inspired recipes such as a veggie pie that's chock full of mozzarella and an Italian wedding soup dish that's packed with escarole, garlic, and beef meatballs. As the star shared with Food Network, her love of Italian food goes back — way back."

"Her grandmother would ask her "what I wanted in the fry bread, whether I wanted it sweet or savory, jelly or cheese. I still have her rolling pin, and it's probably one of my most-prized possessions." Bertinelli's mother wasn't of Italian descent, but she still loved to cook. The food star remembers seeing her masking meals often, in an era when many parents were inclined to turn towards convenience food. Bertinelli said she fondly recalls "watching my mom cook three meals without a microwave."

Here is Valerie's easy Homemade Pizza recipe from the Food Network website.


1 packet active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
Favorite pizza toppings, as desired
Canola oil, for coating the grill grates


In a sma ll bowl, combine the yeast with the warm water, honey and sugar. Let the mixture sit until it begins to foam, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, bread flour and salt and then make a well in the center.

Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Using a fork, incorporate the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until a dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, continue to work and then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.

Lightly coat a clean bowl with olive oil and then add the dough, turning once to coat the dough in oil. Cover and set in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; make sure the grill grates are clean. Have your pizza toppings standing by.

Cut the dough in quarters, shape into balls and work with 1 ball at a time. Stretch each dough ball into a 9- to 10-inch circle by hand or roll into a bigger (and thinner) circle with a rolling pin.

With a towel soaked in canola oil, coat the grill grates lightly in oil. Add the dough rounds and cook until grill marks form and the dough stiffens, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the crusts and cook for an additional minute.

Remove the crusts to an inverted baking sheet (so they slide off easily). Load the crusts with the desired toppings.

Return to the grill, cover and cook the pizzas until the toppings are warmed and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 more minutes. Remove carefully, cut and serve.

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Florence Carmela is an Entertainment Writer and Interviewer. She covers Celebrities in the Media and the latest in Pop Culture, Lifestyle Trends, Culinary Arts and Local News. She is also Host of The Forum Celebrity Podcast and is a Verified Journalist on Muck Rack.

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