Deep-Dish Pizza

Homemade is always better, so why not try your hand at pizza? A delicious weekend meal.  Make your own crust or buy the frozen dough and follow their directions.

The Crust:
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 pkg. (2 3/4 tsp.) yeast
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs. melted butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup, plus 2 Tbs. lukewarm water

The Filling:
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced into 9-12 pieces
1 lb. Italian sausages, sliced & cooked (sweet, hot, mixed – your choice)
28 oz. can peeled, plum tomatoes
Heaping Tbsp. minced garlic (from the jar is good)
1 Tbsp. sugar (to offset the acid from the tomatoes)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Approximately1-2 Tbsp. more of the extra virgin olive oil

Making the Crust:  Add all dough ingredients to a large bowl and knead until smooth – takes about 5 minutes.  Place in a lightly oiled/buttered bowl, cover, and let rise for about one hour.  While it is rising, lightly oil or spray a pan (if you have a deep dish pizza pan, that’s great, but not everyone does, so make do with what you have) – it needs to have sides at least 2″ high.

Stretch the dough and lay it in the pan, it may shrink back somewhat but stretch to cover bottom and up sides – if you see the oil seeping/oozing out, don’t worry, just ignore it and keep going; cover and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes.  While it’s resting preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and start making the sauce.  Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until its very lightly browned, remove from oven and set aside.

Making the sauce:  Drain the tomatoes, place in a large bowl, and with your hands carefully squish them – keep hands in the bowl or you’ll be wearing the sauce!  Add the herbs, garlic, and sugar.

Place all the slices of mozzarella on the bottom crust, add the slices of sausages, then add the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle on the grated cheese then drizzle a little bit (like about 1- 2 Tbs.) olive oil onto top.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and top is golden brown.  Let rest about 20 minutes.

Open-Faced Crescent Sandwiches

Your whole family will enjoy these and everyone will be happy! This is just a springboard recipe – add + change as you will; have fun with it. Goes great alongside my Poppy Seed Noodles for dinner or serve for breakfast with eggs on the side.

1 lb. ground turkey, chicken, or pork sausage
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup minced, roasted red peppers or pimentos
2 cans  refrigerated crescent roll dough
About 1/2 cup of pizza sauce
About 1 cup shredded cheese (I used the bag of Mexican mixed)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease 2 cookie sheets. Prepare your oven racks so that 2 cookie sheet can cook at one time; In a large skillet, cook the sausage, garlic and peppers; drain and set aside.

Unroll the doughs onto the cookie sheets and separate them into 4 rectangles each, pressing onto the perforations to seal. Spread  some sauce on on each, sprinkle the cheese over the sauce then spread some cooked sausage on top. With the back of a large spoon or your hands, gently press the mixture onto the top of each “sandwich” and place in the oven.

Bake for about 9 minutes, alternate pans and cook for about 9 minutes more or until a deep golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheets and dig in.