I just got back from New York and while there I was determined to partake in a slice of “New York Style” pizza. Being from Chicago, this is a big deal because there is this constant debate over whether or not Chicago pan pizza is better than the New York thin pie. So my girlfriend and her husband had some friends over and they decided to order some pizzas from a place called Prince St. Pizza in Nolita. Here was my chance to finally settle the debate.
The pizza that arrived was not exactly what I was expecting. First of all it wasn’t round and second it wasn’t thin. It was called their spicy spring square, a thick Sicilian style pizza. Well I tried it and boy was it heavenly! From that day until I had to leave the fabulous city of New York, I was determined to recreate that pizza!
Now the pizza that I’ve created will never be an exact match for Prince St. Pizza, but it sure is delicious. I call it my Pepperoni Focaccia Pizza. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Purchased fresh or frozen pizza dough (or make it yourself)
- 2 cups grated mozzarella
- Tomato sauce (recipe below)
- Sliced pepperoni
- Parmesan cheese
- Red chili pepper flakes
- 2 TBSP olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using a 9×13 baking pan, generously rub the olive oil all over the bottom and sides of the pan. It works best if you use your hands, think of this way your moisturizing at the same time! The oil will seem like a lot, but trust me it makes the crust so yummy. Next, take your dough and gently punch it into the bottom of the pan, it may not reach the corners and that’s fine (remember if you’re using frozen dough follow the directions on the package for thawing and rising first). Now sprinkle some parmesan cheese on the top and cover with a towel for 30 minutes or so. After the half hour you should be able to spread the dough more into the corners and it should look like this.
Now put the dough in the oven until its slightly golden on top. I usually keep it in for about 10 minutes but make sure you check it because everyone’s oven is different.
Now time to put on the good stuff! Start off by spreading a little of the sauce onto the crust. Next, comes the shredded mozzarella, then a nice thick layer of your homemade sauce. This method is a little nontraditional, but it keeps the pizza nice and saucy instead of it absorbing into the crust. Sprinkle on some red chili pepper flakes (to your taste) and then add the slices of pepperoni.
Put it back into the oven until cheese is melted, the crust is a crispy brown and the pepperoni is slightly charred and curled (about 15-20 min).
There you have it…Pepperoni Focaccia Pizza Chi town style!
Pizza Sauce: Start out with about 1/4 cup of oil in a saute pan, heat oil on low and add 2 or 3 smashed garlic cloves. Let the garlic infuse the oil for 5 minutes and then take out. Add one 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and turn heat up to medium, bring to almost a boil and cover. Reduce heat to low and let tomatoes cook for at least 20 minutes, the longer they simmer the better they taste. Turn off heat until ready to use.