With Roasted Red Pepper Pizza Sauce!
Is it a pizza, or is it a pie? OR is it an interesting take on a tart…I will never have these answers. The answers I do have are: YES, it tastes amazing, YES the crust is perfectly crunchy on the outside and airy on the inside, and YES the red pepper and tomato sauce is thronging with complex and palate pleasing flavor! Use whatever ingredients you have in your refrigerator to top this delicious family dinner!
Homemade Deep Dish Pizza Crust:
The dough for this deep dish crust is interesting. Even after rising, it is so moist and sticky that you may think “it needs more flour”. I assure you, it doesn’t! We are so used to grocery store bought pizza dough, where it is fairly hard and easily managed. This dough WILL stick to the surface you are working on at first. Make sure you sprinkle the surface with flour, and you should be okay. That moisture will be appreciated when you taste how perfect it is after cooking. After you roll it out and oil your cast iron skillet, press the dough up the sides of the skillet so every part of the crust is even. It doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t stress too much about it!
I don’t think I could have managed making this recipe, or any dough recipe without my Kitchen Aid 4.5 Quart Stand Mixer! HIGHLY recommend getting one if you do not have one already!
For the roasted red pepper dough and crust, you don’t have much creative liberty in making it ‘your own‘. But when it comes to the toppings, the world is your oyster (I mean, I wouldn’t put actual oysters on it, that might be gross).
I quite honestly opened the fridge, took out what ever vegetables I had laying around, which happened to be summer squash and zucchini, and used that as my pizza pie topping. I also didn’t have mozzarella cheese, the preferred cheese for deep dish pies, but that didn’t stop me! Let me introduce you to my friend, cheddar! Why do we only use mozzarella for our pizzas and deep dish pies when we have all of these other amazing and tasty cheeses to choose from?! Use whatever cheese you love. You can go the more traditional route, with mozzarella, pepperoni and mushrooms, or you can try to switch things up and use colby-jack cheese, banana peppers and sausage!
If you are in need of a good cast iron skillet, pre-seasoned is the way to go! Check out this affordable 12.5 inch skillet from Utopia Kitchen:
Roasted Red Pepper Pizza Sauce:
The sauce is what really sets this homemade Chicago style deep dish pizza pie apart from all of the rest. Don’t you dare open up a jar of processed tomato sauce! (okay, you can use it if you are in a time crunch…but don’t let it happen again!) Roasting the tomatoes, red bell peppers and garlic gives this sauce a sweet and rich depth of flavor that you can’t get from a jar. If you have access to a lot of tomatoes and bell peppers, double this recipe and store the left overs in a jar in your fridge or freezer for another use! This roasted red pepper sauce is definitely going to be a sauce you will want to make over and over again.
You guys…this might be the best dinner party dish I have ever made. I mean, holy tower of Pisa is it good! Sun dried tomatoes are processed with nuts, garlic, balsamic vinegar and a little sugar to make a super flavorful and bright pesto. That pesto is then tossed with chicken breasts, kale, artichokes and …
Frequently Asked Questions:
|Does traditional Chicago style pizza have roasted red pepper sauce?
|No, it does not. Traditionally, Chicago deep dish pizza is served with chunky tomato sauce. Nothin’ wrong with that! But I personally think this roasted red pepper pizza sauce really elevates the dish to the next level.
|Why do we place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes before forming into the skillet?
|We do this to make it taste better. The cool temperature helps to develop the flavors in the dough and gives the crust a better texture in the long run. Plus, it is a little easier to handle when forming into the skillet.
|I don’t have a cast iron skillet…is there something else I can use?
|You know my philosophy: if you don’t have everything needed to make a recipe, IMPROVISE! Don’t assume you can’t make it just because you are missing something, or you might miss out on a really great recipe. If you do not have a cast iron skillet. try using an oven safe Dutch Oven or even an oval baking dish. Make sure to grease it so the dough doesn’t stick. Just note that it will cook slightly differently as the material conducts heat much differently than a cast iron skillet.
|Do I have to roll the dough?
|All you professional chefs out there are going to get mad at me…but I’m going to say no to this. Normally, I would say that the crust should be rolled so that it is uniform and everything cooks perfectly. But sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t find your rolling pin no matter how hard you look. I’m speaking from experience here! I don’t know if you can tell, but I actually DIDN’T roll the pizza crust when I did this recipe because I couldn’t find my rolling pin! You can see in the photos that when it was raw it was lumpy and definitely not even. But you know what? It cooked FINE. So if you are in a rush, don’t worry about it. Remember, Recipe Hippie a free spirited approach towards home cooking!
Homemade Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
- Blender or Food Processor, Stand mixer for dough(can use hands, will take longer), 12 inch cast iron skillet
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled
- 8 roma tomatoes (or the equivalent of any other tomato)
- 4 medium red bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds and white pith removed
- 2 tsp Italian herb puree (the herb puree is perfect for this recipe, but if you can't find it or don't have it, it is okay to use 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley and basil if you have it)
- 4 tbsp olive oil (2 for roasting, 2 for blending)
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal flour (also acceptable: cashew flour, oat flour, whole wheat flour)
- 1 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 7 tbsp butter, melted in microwave for 1 minutes so not fully melted, but mostly
- 1 7g or .25oz packet of active dry yeast (comes out to 2 1/4 tsp)
- 1 tbsp olive oil for bowl
- 1 summer squash, cut into thin medallions (any vegetables/meats you wish to use are fine)
- 1 zucchini, cut into thin medallions
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Mozzarella is great too, or any cheese you wish to use)
Make the dough:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (for the sauce you will make while the dough rises).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Turn on mixer with dough attachment and mix until fully combined.
- Now, with the mixer on low, add the mostly melted butter and water. Mix until a dough ball forms and is well kneaded, about 5 minutes. You may have to turn the mixer off occasionally to get the flour off of the sides of the bowl. (if you are using your hands, knead the dough until fully combined, then knead for another 5 minutes: note that the dough will be very sticky, so use wet hands if needed)
- Place the dough ball in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out on the counter to rise for 1 hour. After 1 hour, place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Red Bell Pepper and Tomato Sauce:
- Cut the red bell peppers into 6 large pieces each. Cut the tops off of the roma tomatoes, and slice into 4 flat pieces (see photo in post). Place the peppers and tomatoes in a large bowl with the garlic cloves. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Spread vegetables over a foil lined baking sheet, and place in the oven. Roast, untouched, for 30 minutes.
- When done, remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Once slightly cooled, transfer to a blender or food processor. Add in 2 more tbsp of olive oil and blend until a sauce forms.
Making the Pie:
- Increase oven temp to 425 degrees.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a heavily floured surface. Sprinkle flour over the top of the dough, and roll the dough out in a big circle until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled 12" cast iron skillet(not a lot of oil, just enough to coat bottom and sides). Press the dough to mold to the shape of the skillet, and remove any extra dough that overflows the edges of the skillet.
- Pour in about 1 cup of the sauce (you will have extra, that is okay! Save it). Spread evenly over the bottom of the pie.
- Sprinkle cheese over the top. You can never have enough cheese, so use whatever kind you like and as much as you like!
- Take your sliced squash medallions and place on top of the cheese however you like. Sprinkle with chopped red onion.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes (closer to 30 minutes, depending on thickness of dough), until crust is brown.
- Remove, let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. You can save extra pieces in the fridge for tomorrow! Option to garnish with basil, red pepper flakes and/or Parmesan cheese.
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