Originally created 06/14/06

Deep-dish pizza has origins in Chicago



A GI just back from World War II and his buddy changed the course of pizza - and Chicago - history. Rick Ricardo and his friend Ike Sewell went into business in a bar on the corner of Ohio and Wabash streets.

Because pizza was new to Midwesterners, they had to give it away to bar patrons. But a following soon developed for this gooey, cheesy, deep-dish concoction.

The key to making deep-dish pizza is the crust.

"It's formed more in the pan, and you have to have a deep-dish pan or a baking pan with a high rise to it," says Chris Gatto, the vice president of food and beverage at Pizzeria Uno's in Chicago.

UNO'S CHEESE AND TOMATO DEEP-DISH PIZZA

Although traditional Chicago pizza has all the cheese on the bottom, we divided it between the top and the bottom. Use your favorite pizza crust recipe or purchase dough from a pizzeria.

Chunky tomato sauce:

1 (28-ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons red wine

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped Italian herbs

1 teaspoons dried onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste Pizza:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

16 ounces of pizza dough (at room temperature)

4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided

cup chunky tomato sauce

2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese

1 tablespoon dried oregano

To prepare sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool. For the deep-dish recipe, you will have sauce leftover.

To prepare pizza, heat oven to 400. Pour oil in a 10-inch round, deep-dish pan or springform pan. Place dough in the center of pan and work dough from the center outward, pressing to cover bottom of pan and halfway up sides. Prick with a fork.

Bake crust in oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Spread 2 cups of cheese on crust, top with cup tomato sauce. Sprinkle remaining 2 cups cheese, Romano cheese and oregano on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating every 15 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and cheese should be bubbling. Remove and cool for 3 minutes. Cut and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: 460 calories, 24 grams fat, 25 grams protein, 38 grams carbs., 2 grams fiber, 940 milligrams sodium.

Look for Relish Magazine, celebrating america's love of food, each month in The Augusta Chronicle. For more Relish recipes, log on to www.relishmag.com.