Very often around here Friday night’s are pizza night and more often than not I make my own pizza. It seems just as easy, doesn’t take a lot of time to make, and costs less than buying 2 pizzas from our favorite pizza place nearby. I have nothing against getting a pizza now and then; we do it ourselves on nights where no one has the energy to cook,but I just think for the minimum effort it takes to make the dough or even buy the pizza dough (most times a pound of dough is only about a dollar), you can make a pretty good pizza on your own. Sean had been asking me to try making a deep dish pizza because he wanted it, and I found a pretty easy recipe on the Cooking Channel website that was a good one to try.
Chicago-Style Deep Dish Sausage Pizza
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, sliced into thin rounds or removed from the casing and crumbled
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature, or 1 serving of Food Processor Pizza Dough, at room temperature
10 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced
1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce or 1 1/2 cups crushed and strained tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the sausage until the sausage is nicely browned and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Grease the inside of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with the softened butter. Place the pizza dough in the center of the skillet and spread the dough evenly towards the bottom edge and 1 1/2 inches up the sides.
Begin layering the ingredients on your pizza crust by evenly laying the sausage on the dough, followed by the mozzarella cheese and then by the tomato sauce or the tomatoes, whichever you happen to be using. Sprinkle the garlic and the dried oregano on top of the cheese and sauce. Finish the topping by adding the Parmesan cheese on top and drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Place the cast-iron skillet on the bottom rack of the oven and cook the pizza until the edge of the crust is golden brown and crusty, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and allow the pizza to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Just a couple of quick notes about my experience with this recipe. First, you should preheat the oven for about 20 minutes or so to make sure the temperature is nice and hot before you put the pizza in. This seemed to make a big difference for me. Secondly, I didn’t get the pizza as “deep dish” as I would have liked it since I did not have quite enough dough to fully go up the sides of the pan. I had split the dough in half to make two pizzas and kind of short-changed myself, so make sure you have enough dough if you really want that deep, crispy crust. Thirdly, the sequence in the layering does seem to make a difference in getting the crisp bottom that you want. Putting the sausage on the bottom does make a difference here and helps to crisp the crust. You could, of course, use any toppings that you like for your pizza, but since we all like sausage pizza it worked well for us. This recipe is a very easy one that is perfect when you want the crunchy, deep-dish style pizza.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!