Recipe courtesy of Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria

Rocco's Little Chicago Deep-Dish Kitchen Sink Pizza

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 11 hr 5 min (includes, rising, chilling and proofing times)
  • Active: 1 hr 35 min
  • Yield: One 12-inch pizza (4 servings)
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Rocco's Deep-Dish Pizza Dough, recipe follows

All-purpose flour, for dusting

2 tablespoons olive oil 

10 ounces freshly grated low-moisture part-skim mozzarella

15 slices pepperoni 

1/2 small red onion, chopped

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped 

5 white mushrooms, sliced 

2 links sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

Rocco's Deep-Dish Pizza Sauce, recipe follows

1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus more for serving

Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving

Rocco's Deep-Dish Pizza Dough:

Two 1/4-ounce packets active dry yeast (1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cups warm water (100 degrees F) 

3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour 

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt 

4 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil (canola or peanut), plus more for oiling the bowl 

Rocco's Pizza Sauce:

One 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

One 14-ounce can tomato puree or whole peeled tomatoes blended smooth 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

1/2 teaspoon dried basil 

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram 

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon sugar 

1 tablespoon fresh basil, torn or chiffonade 

2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Carefully turn out the pizza dough onto a floured countertop. Flatten into a disk without folding the edges, making sure the dough is round and all bubbles are pressed out. Roll to about 14 inches in diameter. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan with the olive oil, making sure to coat the sides. Carefully lift the dough into the pan.
  3. Add the mozzarella to the dough, pressing it into the corners and flattening it out evenly. Follow with the pepperoni, red onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Finally, sprinkle with pieces of sausage no larger than a nickel. Spoon sauce onto the toppings, smoothing over until it is about 1/2-inch from the edge of the dough.
  4. Finish the pizza with an even sprinkling of Parmesan, and pop it onto the center rack of oven. Start checking the pizza after 15 minutes. Bake until the dough is nicely browned and the cheese is toasty at the edges, 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Allow the pizza to cool slightly, then transfer to a plate or pan. Wait a few more minutes before cutting into 8 wedges. Serve with more grated cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.

Rocco's Deep-Dish Pizza Dough:

  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and allow to proof for about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir until ingredients are roughly combined. Add the oil and mix together. If you're using a stand mixer, mix about 4 minutes until the dough ball starts to become smooth, adding a little flour if it isn't pulling away from the sides. If you're kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a cutting board and knead until fairly smooth, adding flour if dough is overly sticky.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl greased with a small amount of oil. Sprinkle the top with some flour and then cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise slowly in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours, or allow it to rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours. The cold-rise method yields a better product with a finer texture and flavor, but sometimes you just want to eat a pizza!

Rocco's Pizza Sauce:

  1. Drain the can of whole tomatoes in a colander set over a large bowl and crush them into teensy pieces with your hands. Throw the crushed tomatoes into a large bowl. (Reserve the tomato liquid for bloody Mary's, Spanish rice or tomato soup; either way, it's not going into this sauce!)
  2. Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, olive oil, oregano, dried basil, marjoram, pepper, salt, sugar, fresh basil and garlic to the drained tomatoes and mix well. Allow the flavors to marry for at least 1 hour or refrigerate.