Deep Dish Sausage Pizza

1 teaspoon cornmeal
2 tablespoons olive oil, DIVIDED
1 (16-ounce) package refrigerated pizza dough
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese,
12 ounces bulk hot Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup seeded and chopped green bell pepper
1 cup pizza sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 medium Italian tomatoes, diced
6 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese, DIVIDED

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Sprinkle cornmeal over bottom of a 12 to 14-inch deep dish pizza pan or stone.
  2. To ensure a crisp crust, oil the bottom of the pizza pan with 1-1/2 tablespoons oil.  Press pizza dough in the bottom and up the sides of the pizza pan, making sure the dough is an even thickness on the bottom.  Fold the edges under to form a crust.  Brush remaining oil atop pizza dough.  Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, over medium heat, sauté sausage, breaking up sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon.  Cook until sausage is cooked through and no pink color remains.  Remove from skillet and drain well on paper towels, crumbling any remaining large sausage pieces.  Discard all but 1/2 teaspoon sausage drippings.
  4. Over medium heat, add onion and bell pepper to hot pan drippings and sauté until vegetables are soft.  Stir in pizza sauce and oregano.
  5. Sprinkle partially baked pizza shell with 2 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 ounces Mozzarella.  Arrange cooked sausage over cheese. 
  6. Using a circular motion, spread sauce over sausage to within 1/2-inch of edge.  Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and remaining cheeses.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven, in the lower third of the oven, for 20 minutes or until the dough is golden brown throughout.  Let stand for 5 minutes below cutting.

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