Pizza 9

Make Your Unique Pizza flakes, beyond New Mexican red and green chiles! Recipes inside.

Mark Stens Land

10/11/20224 min read

"Pizza 9: A New Mexican Love Story, One Crust at a Time"

Let's dig into the Pizza 9 saga, where the foundation is as much about community as it is about that thick, buttery crust that's become the talk of the town since 2008. Hasan Aslami, the mastermind behind this burgeoning pizza empire, doesn’t just wear the hat of an owner and CEO—he dons the mantle of a community pillar, one who understands that the secret sauce of success in the pizza game is equal parts dedication and affection for the craft and the people who walk through the doors.

In the expansive pizza landscape of New Mexico, Pizza 9 has rapidly staked its claim, spreading like a delicious rumor from location to location—twelve to be exact. Aslami, with roots that stretch back to Tehran, Iran, infuses his approach to the pizza business with daily hands-on involvement and a belief that loving the job is non-negotiable.

It's not just the number of locations that tell the story of Pizza 9's triumph; it's the chapters written with the community through involvement and fundraising—efforts that turn patrons into supporters, customers into advocates.

Now, let's talk about where to find the heart of Pizza 9's revelry—inside the Revel Entertainment Center, a place that's as much about the experience as it is about the eating. The crusts here? They're a veritable anthology: from the classic deep dish to the adventurous green chile stuffed, and for those who march to the beat of their own drum, the double dish and stuffed varieties wait to take your taste buds on a tour de force.

But the uniqueness of Pizza 9 doesn't end at the crust. Where else could you top your pizza with shrimp, dive into crustless pizza bowls, snack on bread nuggets, or satisfy your sweet tooth with pizza brownies? It's an innovative menu that's constantly rewriting the rules of the pizza playbook.

So, here's the scoop: if you're anywhere in New Mexico, you've got a standing invitation to join the Pizza 9 family. Come for the buttery crust that has become a legend in its own right. Stay for the sense of belonging that only a business deeply rooted in community can provide. And when you're feeling bold, venture beyond the edge of traditional toppings and crusts—because at Pizza 9, the only thing they love more than pizza is the people who come to enjoy it. Your seat at the table is waiting.

Transform Your Pizza Box into a Food Dehydrator (AKA: Pizza Flakes Maker)

Stop throwing away produce!

Every year, Americans waste about 30-40% of their food supply, which then contributes to the 8% of global greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Let's save the planet one slice at a time and turn that old pizza box into a DIY food dehydrator! This hilariously easy project will transform your leftovers into delicious dried snacks.


- 1 large pizza box (clean, without grease – yes, that means ordering another pizza)

- Aluminum foil (to make it shiny like your future)

- Plastic wrap (because who doesn't love plastic?)

- Black construction paper (very goth, very functional)

- A utility knife or scissors (sharp objects: handle with care!)

- Tape (the universal fixer of all things)

- A small fan (optional, if you want to go high-tech)

- Wooden dowels or skewers (also optional, but let’s get fancy)

- Mesh or cheesecloth (to keep it all in place)


1. Prepare the Pizza Box:

Open that pizza box and line the inside with aluminum foil, shiny side up. This will reflect heat and make your box look like a science experiment. Cover the bottom of the box with black construction paper. This will absorb heat and add to the mystery.

2. Create a Window:

On the top of the pizza box lid, cut out a rectangular window, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Make it artsy. Cover the window with plastic wrap and secure it with tape. This will allow sunlight in and create a greenhouse effect. Now your pizza box is officially smarter than your last smartphone.

3. Create Air Vents:

Cut small air vents on the sides of the pizza box to allow for airflow. You can make these by cutting small flaps and folding them back slightly. These vents are like your dehydrator’s nostrils.

4. Optional: Add a Fan:

If you have a small fan, place it near the air vents to enhance airflow. This will help to speed up the drying process and make you feel like an engineering genius.

5. Create Racks:

If you have wooden dowels or skewers, create racks to hold your food. Simply poke holes in the sides of the box and insert the dowels through the holes, creating a grid. Now it’s looking like a mini barbecue. Alternatively, use a piece of mesh or cheesecloth to lay your food on inside the box. It’s like a hammock for your snacks.

6. Place Your Food:

Arrange your food items on the racks or mesh, ensuring they are spread out evenly and not touching each other. Give them space to breathe – it’s yoga for your veggies.

7. Position Your Dehydrator:

Place the pizza box dehydrator in a sunny spot outside. The plastic wrap window should be facing the sun to maximize heat absorption. Your neighbors will be jealous of your eco-friendly contraption.

8. Monitor and Rotate:

Check on your food periodically and rotate the box if necessary to ensure even drying. You’re basically a helicopter parent for dehydrated snacks. Depending on the weather and the type of food, drying times can vary from several hours to a couple of days. Patience, grasshopper.

Dehydrating Specific Foods:

Red and Green Chiles:

Preparation: Wash and dry the chiles. Slice them into rings or halves, removing seeds if desired. Fun fact: Spicy foods can increase your metabolism by up to 8%! Drying Time: Chiles typically take 1-2 days to dry completely. They should be brittle and break easily when fully dehydrated.


Preparation: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice them into ¼ inch thick slices or cut cherry tomatoes in half. Did you know tomatoes are technically a fruit? Mind blown. Drying Time: Tomatoes can take 1-3 days to dry. They should be leathery and pliable when done.

Popular Herbs (e.g., Basil, Oregano, Thyme):

Preparation: Rinse herbs and pat dry. Remove leaves from stems if they are large. Herbs can improve memory by up to 75%. Okay, I made that up, but it sounds good! Drying Time: Herbs generally dry within 1 day. They should crumble easily when touched.

9. Enjoy Your Dehydrated Food:

Once your food is sufficiently dried, remove it from the dehydrator and store it in an airtight container. Congrats! You’ve just saved the planet one dehydrated snack at a time.

This DIY food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve your favorite foods using just a few household items. Happy drying, and remember, every little bit helps in the fight against climate change!