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Special Pizza For Pope Francis Coming to Union Square Restaurant

By Danielle Tcholakian | September 17, 2015 6:19pm | Updated on September 18, 2015 6:00pm
 Ribalta at 42 East 12th St. will be serving a special pizza in honor of the pope through Dec. 31.
Ribalta at 42 East 12th St. will be serving a special pizza in honor of the pope through Dec. 31.
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — A Village pizzeria is serving up a special pie in honor of Pope Francis for the religious leader's first visit to the United States.

Ribalta, at 42 East 12th St., will be slinging a special pope-themed pizza topped with yellow heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil, with a rim of white buffalo ricotta along the crust. The colors are a nod to the Vatican flag, owner Rosario Procino said.

Procino's pie is priced at $23. $3 from every pie will go to the non-profit organization No Kid Hungry, which advocates for free summer meals for kids and breakfast in schools, and encourages restaurants around the city to hold benefits or offer fundraising specials.

“Every year we try to do fund raising for various causes," said Procino, who added they've raised money for Memorial-Sloan Kettering Hospital and City Harvest in the past. "This year we took inspiration from the pope’s visit. Pope Francis has really focused his efforts on taking care of those in need, so No Kids Hungry seemed to be a natural choice.”

Procino said he was inspired to create the pie when his friend Enzzo Caialli jumped a security barricade in Naples, Italy, to give the religious leader a personalized pie that read "Il Papa" in pieces of crust atop the pie. Similarly to Procino's concoction, Caialli's pizza was topped with yellow cherry tomatoes and a basil leaf.

Pope Francis will be in New York City on Sept. 24 and 25. Ribalta will be serving up the special pope pie through Dec. 31.