Rob Pegoraro got this recipe from his father. He can make the pizza in 1 hour and 45 minutes, from start to melted-cheese finish, and says you should have enough sauce left over to make another pizza or two; (it can be frozen in a tightly covered container for about a month). As for chowing down, he says, no knives or forks allowed.
Servings: 6 One 16-inch pizza
- For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed Italian tomatoes (and their juice)
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup torn basil leaves, plus more for the topping
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the dough
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 package dry yeast
- 3 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra if using a pizza pan
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal (if using a pizza stone)
- For the toppings
- 1/2 pound hot italian sausage, removed from its casing and crumbled
- 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, grated or diced
- 1/2 to 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
For the sauce: Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-low heat, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, oregano and basil and salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium-high just to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, with bubbles just rising to the surface, for about an hour (the crushed garlic stays in the sauce).
For the dough: While the sauce cooks, fill a measuring cup with the warm water, then add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the dry yeast and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, until it foams.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt and oil and beat on low speed. Slowly add the yeast mixture to form a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough is ready when a finger imprint remains.
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an hour in a warm spot.
For the toppings: While the dough is rising, add the sausage to a skillet over medium heat with just enough water to cover the bottom. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until the sausage has cooked through. Drain and set aside.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Have ready a pan lightly coated with olive oil, or, if using a pizza stone, lightly dust it with the cornmeal. On a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough, then stretch it out until it's about the size of the pan or pizza stone. Shape the pizza in the pan or on the stone and form a raised edge. Prick the dough with a fork in about 6 places. Top with a thin layer of the sauce, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese, scatter the cooked sausage and then top with the mushrooms and onion. Add the Parmesan cheese, if desired. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the crust is light brown and the cheese has melted. Top with more basil leaves and serve with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
Adapted from Rob Pegoraro, a consumer technology columnist for The Post.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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