I love Chicago! I love everything about it, including the wonderful food! My sister, her daughters, my daughter and me take a yearly trip to the windy city each summer. It has become one of of our favorite traditions! We hop on the Amtrak and arrive ready to find new places to shop and eat. One of my favorite pizza places is Giordano’s and what I like best is their famous stuffed pizza. One must be patient, as it takes awhile to bake after you order, but it’s worth the wait. I was inspired by Giordano’s to find a good recipe for deep dish pizza. I’ve tried a few and this is the one I have voted as #1. It is an adapted recipe from “The Casserole Queens.”
Deep-Deep Pizza (Chicago Style)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (8-ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed parsley
1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 (12-ounce) package sliced pepperoni
16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a round, deep dish pizza pan with cooking spray.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook. Cook until sausage is cook thoroughly, drain and set aside.
3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms (including liquid from pan) and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the moisture evaporates, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe the pan clean.
4. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano, fennel, black pepper and parsley. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
5. Unroll the pizza crust dough and press it into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the prepared pan. Place a single layer of half of the mozzarella cheese to the bottom of the pan. Layer the pepperoni slices on top of cheese. Spoon the sausage mixture evenly over the cheese, then spoon the mushrooms over the sausage. Pour the sauce over the casserole and top with the remaining shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is browned and the cheeses bubble.