Pizza Pizza!

My parents divorced when I was young and so my dad always wanted to make our visits special.  He has certain dishes that he always makes that are our tried and true favorites.  I have told you about his famous buttermilk pancakes.  One of his other traditional dishes is his famous deep dish pizza.  He knew we loved it so much that he would make it for us even when he was low carbing. 
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These pizzas took on a life of their own.  We all pitched in to help with different tasks, like grating cheese, making the sauce, slicing the pepperoni, and the one task we would fight to avoid - chopping the onions and peppers.  For reasons that I deny to this day, I am not allowed to grate the cheese anymore.  My sister has met a similar fate with the pepperoni.
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Dan and I are starting our own traditions and creating our own stories now and pizza continues to have a staring role.  It is his favorite food and up until recently, we have been either taking advantage of the $5 pizza deal at Dominos and using premade dough as a serving tool for new and interesting toppings.
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None of these have cut it for me, I guess I’m just used to the homemade goodness from my childhood.  I decided that I should take matters into my own hands, so I scoured the internet for an option that looked right.  I found one on Kayotic Kitchens blog that just looked right.  Yes, looks do matter!  I made this dough twice, the first time straight from the blog and the second time adding the pizza spice to the dough.  Adding the spice to the dough mixture was right on. 
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My sister made Smitten Kitchens tomato sauce from real tomatoes while I was visiting in September.  Since then I wanted to recreate this fresh sauce and add a punch of flavors.  The first time I made the pizza I followed the Kayotic Kitchen recipe exactly.  The second time I mixed the Smitten Kitchen and Kayotic Kitchen recipes.  Let me tell you, peeling tomatoes has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!
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As far as toppings go, I understand that this very personal for people.  The first time I just added mozzarella and basil.  The second time we chopped up pineapple and butternut squash.  My only caution is to roast the butternut squash before you add it, the 10 minutes it takes to cook is not enough to cook the squash!
Pizza Dough and Pizza Spice Recipe from Kayotic Kitchen

Pizza/Pasta Sauce Recipe
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Kayotic Kitchen
This made a LOT of sauce.  We used it to make one pizza and a butternut squash lasagna and we still have about half left.
1 1/2 onions
4 lbs. tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp dried oregano
hot pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 glug of red wine
1 Tbsp pepper

Chop the 1 1/2 onions, 4 cloves garlic, 1 carrot and 1 celery stalk and place it into the food processor.  Pulse until it is fully mixed and then add it to a large stockpot with the 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Add the 4 lbs. tomatoes to the food processor and pulsed until chopped.  (I don’t think I will do this again.  I don’t like the consistency that they came out with so next time I would peel the tomatoes and chop them by hand.  Yes, it is harder that way, but I prefer the texture.)

Add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic mixture and cook for about 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally and adding all of the seasonings (2 Tbsp dried rosemary, 2 Tbsp dried oregano, hot pepper flakes and 2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp pepper) to taste. If you want it to be smoother, blend it with the immersion blender.