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meatless monday: deep dish pizza

August 9, 2010

Okay, so the term “meatless monday” generally conjures up ideas of healthful, whole-food-laden recipes that make you feel like a better human, but who’s to say that even the meatless can’t have a guilty indulgence every once in a while?

This week’s meatless monday came about during a particularly chilly week when I was missing Chicago.  Easy access to horchata, hipsters as far as the eye can see and most importantly, deep dish pizza.  Coming from Chicago means when I think of pizza, I think of thick crust, deep pans and Lou Malnati’s.  And apparently Cook’s Illustrated agrees as they featured this recipe in my cookbook.  It’s not an easy recipe per se, but it’s not hard.  Like any decent dough, it requires some waiting, which requires patience, which I just generally don’t  have.  But with a little planning and a little wine, the time seemed to fly.  The only thing missing from our dinner that night was a bottle of Goose Island beer.   And of course, hipsters.

This recipe is naturally meatless, but you can meat it up as you choose.  Just don’t do it on a Monday.

deep dish pizza
from CI…again



  • 1 medium russet potato (about 9 oz), peeled and quartered
  • 3.25-3.5 cups (16.25-17.5 oz) unbleached white flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for oiling the bowl
  • 1 cp warm water


  • 1 1/2 lbs plum tomatoes (5-6 medium tomatoes)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • table salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces shredded whole-milk mozzarella
  • 1 1/4 parmesan cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
  • 3 tbsp shredded fresh basil


  1. Bring 4 cups of water and the potato to a boil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat; cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.  Drain and cool until the potato can be handled; press the potato through the fine disk of a potato ricer or grate it on the large holes of a box grater.
  2. Process 3  1/4 cups of the flour, the potato, yeast, and the salt in a food process fitted with the dough blade (or just do what I did and use your hands to combine).
  3. Add 2 tbsp of the oil and the water and continue to knead together, a ball should be forming (if using a food processor this should take about 30 seconds).
  4. If the dough is sticky, continue adding the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, 1 tbsp at a time until comes together in a ball.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oil bowl; cover with plastic warp and set in a warm spot until doubled in volume, 1 1/2-2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes and garlic together in a medium bowl; season with the salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  7. Oil the bottom of a 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan (I used my cake pan–don’t judge) with the remaining 4 tbsp olive oil.
  8. Return to the dough and punch down.
  9. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, pat into a 12-inch round or a square (depending on the shape of your pan).
  10. Transfer dough to the oiled pan, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
  11. Adjust oven racks to the lowest and highest  racks in the oven.  Set a pizza stone on the lowest rack and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
  12. Remove the plastic wrap from dough and push the dough to the corners of the pan.  Return plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 30 minutes as the pizza stone heats up.
  13. Turn heat down to 425 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap from dough, place the pizza dough on pizza stone; bake until dry and lightly browned; about 15 minutes.
  14. Drain tomato mixture of excess liquid and layer pieces on top of dough.  Followed by mozzarella and then parmesan.
  15. Bake on the stone until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
  16. Move pizza to the top rack for about 5 minutes to brown cheese and crusts.
  17. Cool for 5 minutes and then carefully use a spatula to slide the pizza from pan onto cutting board.
  18. Season with shredded basil and serve.
  19. Devour.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 7:44 am

    A truly perfect meatless Monday treat – however, I must confess, I would be VERY tempted to add bacon! Your pizza looks superb!
    🙂 Mandy

    • August 10, 2010 8:38 am

      Haha! We were tempted to throw on pepperoni ourselves. We resisted.

      What I wish we had done though was put on spinach (a key ingredient of one of my favorite pizzas from home). Next time.

  2. August 11, 2010 7:11 am

    That looks so so so delicious! I’m up writing an essay (also known as procrastinating by looking at food blogs), and this pizza struck a chord… yum!

    • August 11, 2010 10:51 am

      Thanks, Molly. I hope that post didn’t result in a late-night ordering of pizza 🙂 Or better yet, if it did, I hope it was from someplace great.

  3. Chris permalink
    August 11, 2010 9:14 pm

    2 Things –
    1) I am definitely trying the cauliflower tart. Not sure how Jenn will feel due to the pine nut but I won’t tell her they are in the recipe.

    2) Your Meatless Monday posts reminded me that I have a friend from High School who wrote a cookbook called “Almost Meatless” that has some good recipes. I was trying to post the link but I am having technical difficulties.

    Thanks – Chris

    • August 11, 2010 9:20 pm

      Jenn doesn’t like pine nuts? I love them! You don’t really need them though. I don’t think the original recipe called for it. I love that addition, but it’s not what makes the dish. Tell me how it goes. That tart is one of my faves.

      And I think I found that cookbook. Is it by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond?

      • Chris Guarracino permalink
        August 13, 2010 4:25 pm

        Yes, I went to High School with Tara Mataraza Desmond. She works for the Food Network I believe.

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