Sunday, May 15, 2005

Meaty Deep-Dish Pizza

Meaty Deep-Dish Pizza (Adapted from BH&G)

12 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces pizza sauce
3 ounces sliced pepperoni
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
about 16 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (I used our favorite recipe)
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium-high - add sausage and onion. Cook, stirring to crumble the sausage, until the sausage has browned. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from the heat - if there is excess fat, pour the mixture out onto paper towels to drain.

Place sausage mixture back into the skillet and stir in pizza sauce, pepperoni, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper. Season light with salt to taste, if desired - set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, take two-thirds of the pizza dough and stretch it out to a 12" circle. Transfer the dough into a 9" springform pan coated with cooking spray - press dough roughly 1 1/2" inches up the side of the pan. Scatter the bottom with about 2 ounces (1/2 cup) of the mozzarella. Scoop the sausage mixture on top of the cheese and spread smooth.

In a small bowl, mix together spinach, egg and remaining mozzarella cheese - season lightly with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Arrange spinach mixture evenly over the top of the sausage layer.

Take remaining one-third of dough and stretch it into a 9 to 10" circle. Slice dough into 8 wedges - arrange each wedge on top of the spinach mixture, slightly overlapping the edges. Seal back edge to the bottom crust along the edge of pan. Brush the top crust with melted butter and scatter with Parmesan cheese.

Place into the oven and bake until the filling is warmed through and the crust is golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. If the top looks like it is getting too done at 30 minutes, cover the top with foil. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

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