Fellow food blogger Claudia Lamascolo of the blog What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine, once posted on her Facebook page, a simple picture of a take-out tomato pie. A classic New York, and New Jersey style pizza with Sicilian roots.
She later whipped up her own version here.
Having everything here that I needed to make this pie, I decided to give it a try. I had the herbs and tomatoes and a little bit of Parmesan and Romano cheese for it as well.
Most tomato pie recipes show only tomato sauce pizzas. I wanted to make mine a bit heartier. I don't know how traditional this makes my pie or not, but it ended up being wonderful. Sicilian sauce pie verses covered pie.
This has been my go-to pizza crust recipe forever now. I love it. It's simple, and it works really well especially for recipes like this that call for a thick, foccacia like pizza crust.
- 2 pkgs. active dry yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup warm water
In large bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and warm water in a bowl and mix well. Cover and place in warm, draft-free place; let rise for 30 minutes. Stir down batter. Add 2 cups flour, salt, and 1 cup warm water and beat well. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn down onto a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and roll to 16" round. Place in greased 14" round deep dish pizza pan and form a raised edge. Let dough rise for 30 minutes. Then top with desired toppings and bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes until crust is deep golden brown.
**I used a 10.5 X 15.5 jelly roll pan. You will have some left over dough which I will show you what I did with mine later on.
8-10 tomatoes (4 or 5 plum tomatoes and 4 or 5 medium sized beefsteak tomatoes)
1/3 to 1/2 jar of seasoned tomato/pasta sauce
4 or 5 cloves freshly minced garlic
Dried Italian seasonings
Slice each tomato thinly to be used as a row of tomatoes on your pie. Cover the raised dough with a genrous layer of tomato sauce. Then spinkle a light amount of the dried Italian herbs all over the tomato sauce. Next take the minced garlic and distribute evenly over the herbs and tomato sauce.
Now take one of the sliced beefsteak tomatoes and layer it on top of the sauce, herbs, and garlic. Layer it along the short side of the jelly roll pan. Then take one of the plum tomatoes and layer it slightly on top of the beefsteak tomatoes forming your next row. Continue the pattern all the way down.
Take the fresh basil and rip them into small spices and toss over the top of the layered tomatoes. You can roll the leaves and dice it too if you prefer. Sprinkle more Italian herbs on top. And then sprinkle a light amount of the Parmsean and Romano on top.
Bake according to the pizza crust directions. 25-30 minutes. Slice in squares and serve. Can be served cold the next day as leftovers and it's still awesome.
For that left over bit of dough, I made pizza pot pies. I copied this idea from the famous Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. I have been fascinated with this idea of baking a pizza backwards and serving it up really simply in a bread bowl crust. So I had enough dough to try it and a couple of medium sized ramekins or souffle dishes just perfect for this idea. It was real simple to be honest and it tasted amazing. With cheese pizza, the only difference would be stacking cheese at the bottom and then building your pizza backwards with sauce on top and then the dough. I believe you would want to used sliced cheese and not shredded cheese.
Form a thick round and cover the top of your ramekin. Make sure there is enough dough for a 1 inch lip or so to hang over the sides. Press the dough tightly around the sides but make sure it's not indented with finger lines. Place on a baking sheet and stick in the oven. When the they are done baking (same amount of time and temp as the pizza) let them cool for about 2-5 minutes and then using a knife, edge it around the dough and the ramekin to loosen it up. Flip it over on a plate and remove the ramekin. It should all fall out into the crust bowl. Viola! Pizza Pot Pie.
Make sure you drink a nice fresh Czech Pilsner with this pizza. Tomatoes and pilsners are made for each other.