Many locals refer to the radio station 105.5 FM as Triple M, but the nickname's taken on a new meaning. In recent days Ian's Pizza has been topping pies with three M's - macaroni, Manchego cheese and meat (prosciutto, to be exact) - to promote the radio station's Project M talent competition, and to raise money for the Madison Area Music Awards.
While some have balked at the idea of topping a pizza with cheesy elbow noodles, MAMAs co-founder Rick Tvedt says it's a surprisingly delicious combo. "I've purchased a few for meetings, and people love it," he says. "'Mac 'n' cheese on a pizza?' is usually the first response, then they try it and are blown away by how good it is. And I can never get enough cheese."
Mac 'n' cheese fanatics made their voices heard a few weeks ago when they voted for Ian's Triple M to become the official pizza of Project M. The macaroni-Manchego-meat medley edged out several other recipes, including the Goin' Green, a pie covered with sautéed ramps, grilled asparagus and a pesto base from Renaissance Farms.
The Triple M isn't just an on-the-go snack, though. It's a muse for Anna Laube, Keefe Klug and Jimmie Linville, the last three contestants in the competition. Using it as fuel and inspiration, the trio composed jingles for the pizzeria's phone system at a Project M pizza party this past Tuesday. The contest's winner will be crowned in the Project M finals, June 17 at the Brink Lounge.
The pie's got another M as well: money. After just a few days on the menu, it had raised $70 for the MAMAs. And for every full Triple M pizza purchased through this Friday, June 18, the MAMAs' local music education initiative receives five bucks.