It’s Getting Deep In Here: Sausage Mushroom Provolone-Mozzarella Pizza
We red-white-and-blue blooded Americans eat 3 billion pizzas a year, which breaks down to 350 slices a second or an average of 46 slices per person every 12 months. And 93% of us eat pizza a minimum of once a week which is the category that I fall into. Since my teenage years, on several occasions I’ve gone without booze or sex for weeks at a time but I seriously can’t remember not eating pizza at least once during a seven-day period. I just can’t do it! I’m jonesin’ now and I had pizza last night!
My pizza consumption has been a source of embarrassment for me since my high school days. I started out like my friends, just eating it on a recreational basis. Y’know, just a slice or two after a game. But before I knew it my dependence shot through the roof and I was ordering and consuming an entire large pizza by myself multiple times a week! I kept losing delivery jobs because customers would call and complain that their pizzas were showing up a slice short.
I’m much better now but whenever I eat pizza I still order an entire large pie for myself and down it all in one sitting. And of course I have a million pizza recipes. But this one produces the pie that I can only eat one slice of.
Now you can go all Sandra Lee and buy a pre-made crust and a can of spaghetti sauce if you just can’t make it though this entire process. Believe me, I’ve been there. But sauce is simple to make and it’ll give you something to do while you wait for the dough to proof, so tough it out if you can. Substitute and add where you see fit, and get the ice cubes ready; we both know that you’re gonna burn the roof of your mouth on the first piece so you might as well plan ahead. A couple of shots taken before the pie comes out will lessen the pain as well as help mask any culinary mistakes which you may have encountered. (I’m always watchin’ out for ya!)
Katt’s Deep Dish Pizza
1 12 inch cast-iron skillet
1 package active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
¼ cup canola oil
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 28 oz can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 cup of red wine
2 green bell peppers
7 cloves of garlic
Fresh basil leaves
1 lb of Italian sausage
1 pint of sliced mushrooms
½ Pd of sliced provolone
½ Pd of shredded mozzarella
Coat your iron skillet with some olive oil and let’s make some dough! In an electric mixing bowl, whisk the yeast, sugar and water together. Add 2 cups of the flour and 2 teaspoons of the salt and mix, using a dough hook. Add the canola oil and more flour and mix until the dough comes away from the sides and crawls up the hook. Remove the dough, grease a bowl with more olive oil and pop it in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour.
Now the sauce: chop up the onion and 4 cloves of the garlic. Throw the onion in a small sauce pot with some oil and sauté it for about 5 minutes, then toss in the garlic and continue sautéing for another minute. Pour in the red wine and let the liquid cook down for about another 5 minutes or so, or until most of the liquid is gone. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add some salt and pepper to taste then let it simmer while we cook up the Italian sausage. Tear up some fresh basil leaves and toss them in there too.
Core, seed and chop the 2 peppers and get a large frying pan. Break up the sausage and begin browning it and once it gives off a good amount of fat add the bell peppers to the pan and continue to stir the mix while the pork browns. Once it’s browned, remove the mix and put it in a bowl.
Chop up the remaining garlic and add it to the pan with a little olive oil and the sliced mushrooms. I like to combine a half pint each of shitake and baby bella mushrooms, but use whatever floats your boat. I also like hot Italian sausage and I add hot pepper flakes to my sauce but again, make it how you like it. Add some salt and pepper to the mushrooms and garlic and sauté them until they’re soft.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out in a circle using a rolling pin. Place the dough into your skillet and make sure that it is tucked in good and rests on the bottom of the pan. Trim off any dough that hangs over the pan edge and save it for later in a sealable plastic bag in your refrigerator. (You can make little dinner rolls out of it.) Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. Now, let’s build this beast!
First, cover the bottom of the pan (or the top of the dough – however you want to look at it), with the provolone slices. Don’t be stingy!
Next goes in the sausage mix.
Then the mushrooms.
Then the sauce.
And then the shredded mozzarella. Drizzle it with some more olive oil and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes or until its golden brown. Let it sit and rest for about 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven.
Cut yourself off a nasty hunk and start chompin’! Oh, and when I said that I could only eat ONE piece – well….