How to Make the Perfect Pizza Burger

This gooey, saucy pizza burger is easy to make, and even better to eat.

There's something intrinsically awesome about a pizza burger. Mainly because you don't have to choose between a juicy burger and a gooey pizza—you can eat both at the same time. But not all pizza burgers are created equal. Joe Isidori, chef and co-owner at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer in downtown Manhattan, has created a mouthwatering standout. It features a Pat LaFrieda beef patty, zesty marinara, fresh mozzarella and aged Parmesan, all inspired by his Bronx upbringing spent dining at Arthur Avenue's famed red sauce joints. As a gustatory gift to Maxim's pizza burger-loving readers, Isidori has graciously unlocked the mystery of making the perfect pizza burger at home. Here's how to do it:

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Ingredients (serves 4):

4 potato rolls

2 lb. high quality ground beef, divided into 4 patties

4  quarter-inch-thick mozzarella slabs

Shaved parmesan

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 small can crushed tomatoes

Sauce Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook until it starts smelling really, really good. Add tomato paste and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Burger Instructions:

While sauce is simmering, mold ground beef into four 8 ounce patties.

In a hot cast iron pan, cook patties for roughly 3 minutes per side for medium rare.

Place cooked patty on bottom bun, top with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and shaved Parmesan. 

Photos by Alexandra Romanoff