- Semolina Pizza Dough
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh oregano, plus 1/4 cup chopped fresh leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes,coarsely crushed, with juice
- 1 tablespoon dry red wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- One 15-ounce can tomato puree
- 1 pound fresh hot Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
- 8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed
- and sliced
- All-purpose flour
- 1 pound good-quality low moisture or part skim
- mozzarella cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
- 8 ounces pepperoni, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup sliced pitted Kalamata or other olives
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into
- 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 4 ounces Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, finely grated(about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
Prepare the pizza dough as instructed.
While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, fennel seeds, thyme, oregano sprig, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, and sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree, remove from the heat, and allow the sauce to cool completely before using. (You can speed this up by setting the sauce in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so.) Remove the herb sprigs.
Add 2 teaspoons of the remaining olive oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage and cook until nicely browned and the fat is rendered, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes to release some of the liquid. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
Set the oven racks as low in the oven as possible and line with baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Oil two 10-inch round cake pans or deep- dish pizza pans with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roll out the dough into two 14-inch circles with a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface and place the dough inside the pans, allowing about 2 inches of the dough to fall over the sides of the pans. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Top each pie with half of the pepperoni, mushrooms, bell pepper, olives, and sausage. Ladle the sauce evenly over each pizza and top each with the chopped oregano, basil, mozzarella slices, and Parmesan. Trim excess dough if needed, then fold and pinch it decoratively around the rim.
Set the pizzas on the baking sheets and bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the crust is nicely browned, about 25 minutes. You may need to tent the edges of the crust with foil for the last 5 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven and allow the pizzas to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil if desired.
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