If the years I lived in Chicago taught me one thing it is good pizza. Although the city is most famous for deep dish and pan pizza like you would find at places like Lou Malnati’s, some of my favorite Chicago pizza is actually served up in the more traditional style. One such place that captured my heart is Peace Pizza in the Wicker Park neighborhood.
Peace Pizza has a straightforward enough concept, simple pizzas done beautifully. One of my favorites there is the sausage and basil pizza. The pork brings a salty-fattiness to the pie while the basil givea you a sweet, fresh, herbaceous bite. It is so very simple but so very perfect.
But of course me and my love of crushed red pepper had to come in and bring a little spice in with a homemade spicy Italian sausage blend. This pie is simple yet stunning and will impress anyone from a family dinner to dinner party scenario.
- 1 batch pizza dough
- 1/2 batch pizza sauce
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups mozzarella, grated
- 1 tbsp basil, chiffonaded
Make the sausage. Combine the pork, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Mix by hand until homogenous. Feel free to fry a tester patty to check seasonings. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450. Roll your dough out to fit your pan or until about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly dust the pan with cornmeal and place your dough into the pan. Smear the sauce over the dough, taking care not to apply it too thickly. Top with the mozzarella. Roll out small balls of the sausage and flatten into thin disks. And place randomly all over the pie. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The crust should be starting to brown and the cheese will be gooey and melted.
Top with the basil and freshly grated parmesan.