I’m thinking of New Year’s resolutions as I write this. Usually, a diet is on most of our lists. Cutting carbs is half the battle, so why not start the year off with a cracker thin/tavern pizza called “The Deluxe”? This is a Chicago pizza standard. It typically has Italian sausage, green bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. This style of pizza is traditionally cut into squares, and it’s one of the most common combinations to any Chicagoan. I prefer roasting red bell pepper strips rather than using chopped green bell peppers. Also, I do not use just any mushroom, but prefer sautéed button mushrooms. Instead of white and diced onions, I use sliced red onions. Add hand-pinched Italian sausage, and this combo is a timeless classic. Here’s to 2021!
- 1 10- to 12-ounce dough ball
- Flour, or cornmeal, for dusting
- 5-6 ounces tomato sauce
- 7-8 ounces shredded part skim or whole milk mozzarella
- 3.5 ounces roasted peppers
- 1.5 – 2 ounces sliced red onions
- 5.5 ounces sautéed button mushrooms
- 6 ounces bulk Italian sausage (dime-sized pieces)
- Grated Romano
- Stretch, roll, or sheet your dough to a 16- to 17-inch circle. Dock your dough.
- Using your pizza wheel, trim your pizza into a 15- to 16-inch circle.
- Push down the edges, then sauce and cheese the pizza as close to the rim as possible. I prefer my ingredients to be on the top of the pizza, above the cheese, and not under.
- Add peppers, onions and mushrooms, then put on the hand-pinched Italian sausage last.
- Bake in a 525-550 F gas or electric oven.
- When the pizza is ready, cut into 16 squares, and finish with Romano and oregano.
- Some pizza makers prefer to cook the oregano and add Romano on the sauce, but I recommend applying it after the bake.
TONY GEMIGNANI is one of America’s most influential pizza makers. Instagram: @capopizza Photo: Tony Gemignani