This pepperoni pan pizza is made with a simple yet superlative from-scratch tomato sauce, two types of mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni, and either store-bought or homemade dough. Lavished with everyone’s favorite topping and three types of cheese, this thick-crusted beauty means you can delete your closest pizza delivery place from your contacts and forget you ever craved anything else.
I didn’t start out as some formally trained chef guy. I brewed beer for a living until I was almost 30. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? While I was working at a brewery outside Mito, Japan, I happened to eat the best pizza of my life. Best pizza—in Japan? Crazy, right? After that trip, I knew that I wanted to concentrate on pizza and make it in my own highly personal way. My methods are old-school: Use the highest quality ingredients, make almost everything from scratch, and take the time to do it right. You can make the same great pizza that I make at the restaurant in your home, using your regular oven. Practice—and, okay, a few straightforward guidelines—makes pizza.–Joe Beddia
Pepperoni Pan Pizza
For the tomato sauce
- One (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes crushed by hand or passed through a food mill
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the pepperoni pizza
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 for drizzling
- One (1-pound) ball storebought or homemade pizza dough
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 3 ounces fresh mozzarella* pinched into small chunks
- 2 cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella*
- 3 1/2 ounces sliced pepperoni
- Pinch or two dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons grated hard cheese such as Parmesan or pecorino Romano
Make the tomato sauce
- In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, and oil and mix thoroughly. You're done. That's your tomato sauce.
- Let the tomato sauce sit in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld for at least a few hours and up to 1 week.
Make the pizza
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C) or 550°F (285°C). Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- Slick a rimmed baking sheet or a large cast-iron skillet or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons oil. If desired, line it with a sheet of parchment paper.
☞TESTER TIP: Using parchment paper means there's no soaking and scrubbing molten cheese and burnt-on tomato sauce from your skillet or pan after dinner. Simply crumple and toss the parchment and you're done.
- Carefully stretch your dough to fit your sheet, skillet, or dish.
- Spread the tomato sauce over the dough and top with both mozzarellas. Arrange the pepperoni on top.
- Bake until the crust turns golden brown and the cheese melts, 11 to 12 minutes.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, the oregano, and the grated hard cheese. Slide onto a cutting board, slice, and devour.
*What's the difference between fresh and low-moisture mozzarella?You might think it's overkill to have 3 different kinds of cheese on a pizza (but if you're like us, the only thing better than cheese is more cheese) but let us explain why. Fresh mozzarella (the kind in brine) is lovely on a pizza because it melts into creamy, milky-fresh pools. However, it does need to be dried a little beforehand, otherwise, you'll end up with soggy spots. Tear it into smaller pieces and let it rest on paper towels for at least 15 minutes. Low-moisture mozzarella, on the other hand, is the other end of the spectrum. It's drier and gives you that melted, stretchy cheesiness. You want a better quality low-moisture cheese because the cheaper stuff gets pretty rubbery.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Sometimes the crust makes the pizza, but for this pepperoni pan pizza, the sauce makes it. The key is good tomatoes. Because the sauce isn't cooked until it's on the pizza, good tomatoes are key. And they deliver a rich freshness that really sets it apart. And, of course, the hint of garlic and olive oil doesn't hurt a bit!
Since I had a ball of homemade pizza dough already in the freezer, this recipe was a breeze, but even if you don't, it's pretty simple, particularly since you don't have to cook the sauce for hours. The key is to get the crust nice and thin so when it goes in the hot oven, it crisps up nicely.
The bite of the pepperoni is a perfect offset to the three cheeses. The lessons? You never have to use store-bought pizza sauce again. And a delicious pizza dinner doesn't have to take forever.
Our family loves homemade pizza so we were excited to try this pepperoni pan pizza. I especially loved the method for making the sauce. I made a few tweaks to the proportions, but I think this is an easy recipe for homemade pizza.
I have my own dough recipe, so I didn't use the one in the link.
Originally published September 14, 2018