Pizza with Meatball Crust

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 pound refrigerated pizza dough

Coarse cornmeal, for dusting

2 slices thick-cut bacon

8 ounces ground beef

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, grated

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons marinara or pizza sauce


  1. Put a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the middle oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees F for 1 hour. Meanwhile, bring the pizza dough to room temperature. Sprinkle a 15-inch round pizza pan with cornmeal.
  2. Pulse the bacon in a mini food processor until very finely chopped. Mix the ground beef, chopped bacon, parmesan, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, parsley, garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl with your hands until combined. Form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (about 12); arrange on a baking sheet and bake until firm and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Stretch the dough all the way to the edge of the pizza pan, pressing with your fingertips (lightly oil your hands if the dough is too sticky). Arrange the meatballs evenly around the edge of the dough. Sprinkle the middle with 3/4 cup mozzarella, then top with 1/2 cup sauce. Top the meatballs with the remaining 2 tablespoons sauce and 1/4 cup mozzarella.
  4. Put the pan on the hot stone and bake until the crust is slightly puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with grated parmesan.
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