How Chef Dan Tagle Gets His Kids Involved in the Kitchen

Nordstrom Grill’s executive chef loves making healthy pizzas with his daughters.

Dan Tagle, executive chef at Nordstrom Grill, often gets his daughters involved in the pizza prep at home. He uses a homemade sauce rich with cooked and puréed vegetables. His daughters sprinkle their favorite vegetables on top for the finishing touch.

Garden vegetable pizza sauce

(Makes about three cups)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until it’s almost smoking. Add mushrooms, onion and zucchini. Cook for five minutes until the vegetables are lightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for three minutes but don’t burn. Add the tomatoes and dried herbs. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Let the sauce cool slightly and purée in a blender until smooth. Add the vinegar and check the seasonings. Cool completely before using.

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Dan Tagle’s daughter, Hannah. // Photo by Joe del Tufo

Pizza dough

(Enough for one 14-inch pizza, or multiple individual pizzas)

  • 3/4 cup of warm water (105–115 degrees F)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Stir in yeast. Let stand until the yeast dissolves, about five minutes. Lightly brush a large bowl with olive oil. Mix flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add the yeast mixture and three tablespoons of oil. Process until the dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth, about one minute, adding more flour by the tablespoon if the dough is very sticky. Transfer to the prepared bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm draft-free area until it’s doubled in volume, about one hour. Roll out the dough according to the size of the pan. Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them. (You can use prepared pizza dough if you prefer.)


  • Garden vegetable pizza sauce
  • Dough
  • Cheese of your choice (mozzarella, provolone, fresh mozzarella)
  • Toppings of your choice (mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni slices, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add sauce to your dough. Pour first in the middle and work your way toward the edges, leaving an inch around the edge without any sauce. Sprinkle your favorite cheese on top. Tagle prefers equal parts provolone and mozzarella. (Keep in mind that fresh mozzarella can make the pizza watery. Drain it well before adding.) Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Related: See how local restaurants are transforming their kids’ menus. Or, snag a super-easy salmon recipe.

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