Easy New York Style Pizza Recipe: You Can Even Buy the Crust and Sauce

Chow on 07.29.11
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 Photo: Lomo-Cam / Creative Commons

If you live in New York, it's highly unlikely you're searching the interwebs for a pizza recipe when you can skip out the door and grab a slice.  However, let's say you're like me: a transplanted New Yorker, yearning for that perfect New York pizza pie.

Let's assume you've tried the usual suspects, the national chains that shall go unnamed here, and you realize that it's a completely different food from what you're accustomed to. It's fine as fast food and as a junk food. It's just not pizza.

Next you try roughly half of the local neighborhood pizzerias and they are so far off, that you're about to give up. Well, why not give up? It really is close to impossible outside of New York to commercially capture that je ne sais quoi that makes New Yorkers get super obnoxious and annoying about how awesome their pizza is. Kind of like this post.

Unless trying to find something that resembles New York pizza is an enjoyable hobby for you, then save yourself the time and money, and make your own.

The Pizza That Makes Me Yearn

When I lived in New York City, I lived around the corner from two very different, amazingly delicious pizza parlors: Rosario's and Famous Original Ray's. I'm not going to get into who is actually famous and who is truly original amongst the many Ray's Pizzas.

But those two pizza parlors made some gosh-darn-freaking (imagine the restraint it took to not speak in the New York vernacular there) amazing pizza.

I couldn't even dream of attempting to replicate Rosario's, with the olive oil, fresh basil, garlicky tomato sauce - and somehow freak-of-nature-year-round deliciously fresh tomato-slice topping. Trying to bootleg Rosario's could only result in Franken-pizza. Not pretty. Don't go there.

But Ray's. Well, while it's not repeatable, it's at least attemptable.

This Pizza Recipe Is Easy and Delicious

While this pizza recipe is easy and delicious, I'm not promising a miracle. Keep in mind that I've lived outside of New York City for five years. FIVE YEARS. This means my taste buds have suffered a five-year pizza drought. That's a lifetime for my taste buds, and so my standards may be skewed. I would imagine that after being thirsty for five years, that stagnant pond water would taste mighty refreshing.

So if you are a far-removed New Yorker, this pizza recipe might just be the oasis you need. If you live in NYC right now, then go outside and buy a slice.

The Recipe

Toppings are a personal thing, obviously, and you should use any of your favorites. This recipe includes sweet Italian sausage for that authentic New York pizza taste; I particularly loathe the various "sausage-like" toppings I've had outside of New York that have widely missed the mark.

You can either purchase sausage links and remove the casings yourself, or you can buy a package of sausage meat with no casings.

If you have leftover meatballs, they are very good sliced on the pizza. Onions also make a great topping.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. or about 5 links of Sweet Italian Sausage, fresh from your grocer's butcher case. That's easily enough sausage for two pizzas, if not more.
  • Prego Traditional (Trust me on this.)
  • Shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • Shredded or grated parmesan cheese (optional). Not the powdered kind - real parmesan.
  • Pepperoni
  • Pillsbury® Thin Pizza Crust. It's packaged in a blue tube, found in your grocer's refrigerated case near the cookie dough.

Method

1. Pre-heat your oven according to the directions on the Pillsbury® Thin Pizza Crust tube. Depsite what the tube says, you do not need to pre-bake the dough. It comes out just as sloppy, thin and floppy whether you bake it pre-toppings or not. Just like New York pizza.

2. To cook the sausage: Heat just a little olive oil in a large frying pan. Go easy on the oil - the fat from the meat will help prevent sticking. If you're using links, put a long slit in the casing, pop the meat out and break it up as you put it in the pan. Continue to break the meat up as it cooks until it's brown.

3. Use olive oil to grease a cookie sheet. Stretch your pizza dough out to the edges.

4. Layer your toppings: sauce, cheese, pepperoni and sausage, or whatever toppings you choose. I included parmesan cheese in the ingredient list, because my sister swears that adding a sprinkle to the sauce layer, prior to the mozzarella, adds another flavor punch. The Hubby, Maryland born and raised, hates parmesan with a passion, so we skip it in our house. I don't miss it.

5. Follow the directions on the pizza dough for your baking time. Check it to see if the crust is golden and the cheese is melted to your satisfaction. You may need to bake the pizza for an extra minute or so until it's ready.

6. Buon Appetito!

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