This is a deep and hearty and meaty pizza. Use the homemade pizza sauce recipe included or feel free to use a store-bought pizza sauce. For those wanting even more meat, a layer of pepperoni would be very nice in this pizza, as well.
For the dough:
1Tbspactive dry yeast
1 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
1Tbsp.honeyor white sugar
For the pizza:
10ozMozzarella cheese cut in 1/2-inch thick slices
48-inchHot or Mild Italian sausage linkscasing removed, crumbled and cooked
1/2 cupFreshly grated Parmesan cheesefor topping
2cupspizza saucestore bought or see Note 1 below for an easy homemade pizza sauce recipe
Combine the yeast and lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook, combine 1 cup of the flour and the cornmeal. Add the yeast mixture, olive oil and honey. Stir until moistened. Add more flour in small increments, until you achieve a soft dough that is neither too sticky or too stiff. Remove the dough to a well-oiled large bowl and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
While dough is rising, cook your sausage. If your sausage is links in casing, cut a slit down the casing and remove the sausage from the casing. Discard casing. Cook sausage in a skillet, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon, until cooked and browned. Turn off heat under skillet and set aside until needed.
Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease the bottom and sides of cast-iron frying pan with olive oil and lightly dust with additional cornmeal.
When dough is ready, scrape onto a well-floured surface (dough will seem sticky at this point, but will be fine with the additional flour on the counter. With a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle a little bigger than the bottom of your skillet. If it's sticky, dust with more flour as needed. Transfer the dough to prepared cast-iron frying pan and press into bottom and up the sides about 2/3 of the way up. Cover the bottom of pizza completely with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked sausage. Top with all of the pizza sauce, spreading it to cover the sausage. Sprinkle the top generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. *You don't want your crust to extend too much higher than your filling, or the exposed part at the top will overcook. If it extends too high once your filling is in, push or crimp it down to closer to the level of your filling.
Bake in pre-heated 425° F. oven for about 20 minutes. Check at 20 minutes and if crust is dark enough (it usually is at this point), cover loosely with a sheet of tinfoil and cook about at least 10 minutes longer or better yet, 13-15 minutes more (33-35 minutes total), to be sure the crust is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5-7 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully remove pizza to a cutting board. Allow to stand a couple more minutes before cutting with a sharp knife.
Note 1: To make your own pizza sauce. Drain a can of whole plum tomatoes. Crush the tomatoes with a fork or your hands, leaving them just a little chunky. In a saucepan, heat a little olive oil. Add some diced onion (about 1/4 cup) and cook until softened. Add a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Add the tomatoes. Season with some dried oregano, basil , salt and pepper. Simmer on a low heat, stirring often for at least 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature until needed. Be sure to read the “Ingredient and Cook's Notes" (above the recipe card!), where I share more detailedtips, variations and substitution suggestions for this recipe!