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Dio's Double-Decker Pizzaburgers

Growing up in a military family, there was continual moving from one location to another. It was while we lived in Taiwan that my father came up with this recipe. Over the years, family gatherings always centered around Dad's pizza burgers. I have made these burgers a number of times for my own family and friends, each time tweaking them and adjusting the ingredients. While we have always topped the burgers with mozzarella cheese, I added the grilled onions in a tomato-wine sauce. This recipe is a culmination of over 30 years of family memories and fun, being passed from one generation to another.


6 pounds ground chuck
1 1/2 cups ground pepperoni
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. anise seed
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 8-oz. tomato sauce, half to be used later
1 6-oz. tomato paste
1 cup good red wine
2 onions, sliced and sautéed
mozzarella cheese, sliced
sourdough buns


In a food processor, grind up the pepperoni for the burgers. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, pepperoni, parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, anise seed, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix together, and then add 1 can of tomato sauce and the entire can of tomato paste. Mix well with other ingredients. Form into 18 medium sized patties, then grill over medium heat on grill. While burgers are grilling, slice the onions and sauté in olive oil. When onions are tender, deglaze the pan with the wine. Let simmer for a couple of minutes, and then add the other can of tomato paste. Give a good stir and let stand over low heat for 10 minutes. Turn burgers over. When they are almost done, spoon about two tablespoons of wine sauce onto half of patties, then place sliced mozzarella on top of the sauced patties and close the lid to melt the cheese over the sauce and the patty. Be sure to toast the buns while the cheese is meting. When this is done, placed sauced patties on buns and placed un-sauced patties onto sauced patties. Serve.


This recipe, though sounding complicated, is relatively easy to make. It should yield 9 double-decker burgers.