Making a Heart-Shaped Pizza Almost Ruined Our Relationship

It all started one perfectly normal Saturday afternoon. My fiancé Marc and I were psyched to make a heart-shaped pizza together for a Valentine’s Day post on Babble. After all, we love cooking together (and even have been known to dance around the kitchen in between steps). We had just come back from visiting our parents over the holidays, and were tired, stressed, and had barely seen each other. What better way to get our groove back than cooking together?

Well, we soon found out that those may not be the best ingredients for a couple’s cooking sesh. Here’s how our delightful culinary adventure spiraled out of control …

Step 1: Make the sauce.

  • Fantasy: Reduce tomatoes into a delicious homemade sauce.
  • Reality: We peeled the skins of tomatoes by shocking them in boiling water. The tomatoes weren’t the only ones in for a shock. It turns out, we don’t like our sauces the same way. Marc, he’s all about the chunks. Me, not so much. Chunky sauce = ugly photos. You see, I actually wanted to make the pizza look good for the post. Shocking, right?

Step 2: Roll the dough.

Roll Dough
image source: robin clement
  • Fantasy: Marc would take on this task as he’s the “pizza dough expert.”
  • Reality: One look at the store-bought dough and I knew it would stick right to the wax paper. But of course he didn’t listen. I know infusions are trendy and all, but I don’t think wax paper-infused dough is one of them. (Insert huffs and puffs here.) Word of advice: use a TON of flour on all surfaces.

Step 3: Make dough into a heart shape.

heart dough
image source: robin clement
  • Fantasy: Use clever folding technique to create heart-shaped dough.
  • Reality: We argued about the best tool to use. As each minute passed, I lost more and more natural light, decreasing the Pin-ability of my precious photos.

Step 4: Create heart-shaped pepperoni.

  • Fantasy: Use same heart-cutting technique to create cute little pepperoni.
  • Reality: My hearts looked more like wings. Marc gave me a helpful cutting tip. But I yelled at him because of newfound heart-shaped-pepperoni-cutting insecurity.

Step 5: Add toppings to pizza dough.

  • Fantasy: Take pictures of each topping being added to the dough, to create a gif for Instagram.
  • Reality: The oven was ready and Marc wouldn’t bring the sauce over to my mock photo studio. On top of that, the sun was waning on us. No time for the gif. It’s a sad day.

Step 6: Take a pretty final picture.

image source: robin clement
  • Fantasy: Pinterest gold.
  • Reality: He thought I could just take a picture in the pizza pan. IN THE PAN! It’s like he hasn’t been on Pinterest … Because a picture is worth 1,000 words likes, I needed it to be pretty, dammit! So, I quickly moved the crazy hot pizza directly onto the wood surface. My annoyed comments and his silent stares followed. Though the pizza looked fab, nothing about this moment was picture-perfect.

We finally sat down. Marc smiled as he took a bite of pizza. I smiled as I looked at the picture — just catching the last second of daylight. We both got what we wanted. Plus, when there’s good pizza in the house, we can’t stay mad at each other for long.

You can really learn a lot about your partner the more you cook together. Like my orthopedist says, “If you can get through five dishes together, you’re set for life.”

Here are the issues we brought into the kitchen (a.k.a. here’s what not to do with your signif):

  1. Conflicting Goals: We had very different goals that day. My goal: Take a swoon-worthy picture of the pizza — complete with step-by-step pics and versions for all social media sites. His goal: To make the pizza “right” and then eat it all.
  2. Time Constraints: I was competing with daylight — to obtain a naturally lit picture. And we won, only by a minute. Phew!
  3. Stress: We were just getting back from the holidays after not seeing much of each other. So, we brought everything to the activity — frustrations included.
  4. Different Tastes: We do not have the same taste buds, and should have talked about our sauce preferences BEFORE our cooking extravaganza.

Now you’re ready to make a heart-shaped pizza with your sweetie! Don’t worry. Pizza makes everything better. Read on for the recipe.

heart shaped pizza
image source: robin clement

Heart-Shaped Pepperoni Pizza

Makes: 1


  • Pepperoni from deli counter
  • Kitchen scissors
  • All-purpose flour
  • Rolling pin
  • Store-bought pizza dough
  • Pizza cutter
  • Yellow fine corn meal
  • Pizza pan
  • Store-bought pizza sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella and Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to temperature on pizza dough package.
  2. Make the heart-shaped pepperoni by folding them in half and using kitchen scissors to cut half a heart shape. Then unfold to reveal heart pepperoni.
  3. Sprinkle all-purpose flour on clean, dry, flat surface, then spread on your rolling pin and hands.
  4. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick and an oval shape.
  5. To make the heart-shape dough, fold in half, length-wise. Then use pizza cutter to cut half a heart shape into the outer edge. Unfold to reveal a heart.
  6. Sprinkle corn meal on the pizza pan. Then top with heart-shaped pizza dough. Add the sauce, lots of mozzarella, a sprinkling of Parmesan, and pepperoni.
  7. Cook for the recommended amount of time. Let cool. Cut and serve.
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