Deep-Dish Sausage Pizza

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Ingredients

  • For The Crust
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup very hot tap water (120˚F) 
  • For The Rest
  • 1/4c Vegetable Oil
  • 1tsp each Dried Oregano, Basil, and Marjoram
  • 1/2tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/2tsp Onion Salt
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1c Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1lb Villari Breakfast Sausage (Mild or Spicy), Cooked and Drained
  • 28oz (1 can) Diced Tomatoes, Well Drained
  • 2oz Sliced Pepperoni
  • 2c Shredded Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, Divided
  • 2 Medium Green Peppers, Chopped

Directions

  1. For The Crust
  2. If using a cast iron pan, preheat the oven to 450˚F with a rack on the lowest level. If using a cake pan preheat to 425˚F with a rack in the center of the oven.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a 10-inch cast iron pan (or a heavy-duty 9-inch cake pan). Set aside.
  4. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a medium-large bowl. Stir well to combine.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the hot water and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir until all flour is incorporated. At first, it might seem like too much flour. Just keep stirring and it turns into a shaggy dough.
  7. Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and knead for about 1 minute, until a nice smooth ball forms.
  8. Place the dough ball into the prepared cast iron pan and rub it around the pan to coat the bottom and sides with oil. Then turn the dough over so the oiled side is up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. (You can go longer at this point if you have more time. I've let it go for more than an hour.)
  9. Remove the plastic wrap (don’t discard) and flatten the dough with your hand. Working with your fingers, dimple and push the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Don’t push it up the sides.
  10. Top with toppings (preparation below) to within a half inch of the edges. Cover again with the plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to sit in a warm spot for 20 minutes while the oven is preheating. (At this point you could refrigerate the pizza for several hours. Allow it to come to room temperature again before baking.)
  11. For The Rest
  12. In a skillet, saute the green peppers, onion and topping seasonings in oil until tender; drain. Layer half the mixture over crust. Layer with half the Parmesan, sausage and tomatoes. Sprinkle with 2 cups mozzarella. Repeat the vegetable mixture, Parmesan, sausage and tomato layers.
  13. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, cover with foil (see Café Tips above) and bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven. Remove foil and bake another 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melty and edges are golden brown. Run a knife around the edge of the crust and transfer the pizza to a cutting board with a metal spatula. Slice and enjoy! You can also serve it right from the pan, if you prefer.

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