Although not technically Italian as it would exist in Italy, this is what Italians in Chicago call pizza.
This is a filling pizza. One slice is enough for me, and then I don’t really crave it for a long time afterward. But the flavor is uniquely suited for a casual Saturday dinner with family with some nice roasted vegetables as an accompaniment. Surprisingly, this pizza is one of the easiest to make since the dough is really just a biscuit in disguise. All you need is some sliced mozzarella cheese from the deli, some high quality sweet Italian sausage, and some very good canned tomatoes and you have the makings of the “quiche of pizzas”.
Equipment for this type of pizza is just a 9 inch cake pan with straight sides, although you could use any pan you want. The dough here is not mixed. It is formed until just incorporated and then…that’s it! Let it rise on the counter in the pan you will be baking it in for 5 hours. Start to finish, actual hands-on time is probably 15 minutes, which includes forming the dough and dressing the pie.
This blog has a great recipe that is easy to follow, and I have used it in the past with great success. A good beginners recipe.
Here is the recipe used for the pizza pictured here. It is in bakers percentages, and is for the seasoned pizza maker.
Here is the mother of all that is Chicago pizza, Realdeepdish.com.
For the cheese, choose Boars Head or similar from the deli department and have it sliced a little thicker than normal. If you choose, get both mozzarella and provolone.
For the tomatoes, I always use San Marzano by Cento or Pastene and crush by hand. Muir Glen makes a crushed tomato with basil that is supposed to be very good. Most any crushed tomato will work, but avoid Hunts and Tuttorosso.