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Deep-dish meatball marinara pizza with a pizza cutter alongside

Deep-dish meatball marinara pizza

A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.5 ratingsRate
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus at least 2 hrs proving and resting
  • More effort
  • Serves 6

Be inspired by America's deep-dish pizzas and make our meatball marinara version with a lip-smacking sauce. It takes a little effort, but it's well worth it

Nutrition: Per serving


  • 250-300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil plus extra for proving, the baking tray and crust
  • 230g grated mozzarella
  • 300g pork mince
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed (optional)
  • ½ tbsp fine polenta
  • 20g parmesan
  • a few leaves of oregano, to serve (optional)

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • STEP 1

    Gently heat the milk in a small saucepan until steaming, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Combine the flour, salt, yeast and caster sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, and pour in 4 tbsp olive oil and 250ml of the warm milk. Stir to combine, adding the rest of the milk if the dough feels dry. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins, then put in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave to rise for 1 hr 30 mins-2 hrs until doubled in size.

  • STEP 2

    To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over a low heat and fry the onion with a large pinch of salt for 12-15 mins, or until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for 1 min more. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, oregano and sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15-20 mins, or until the sauce has thickened. Season. If you prefer a smooth sauce, blitz with a hand blender.

  • STEP 3

    Lightly oil a roughly 33 x 23cm baking tray. Roll the risen dough out slightly with a rolling pin, then stretch it over the tray and into the corners, pushing it up the edges to make a lipped crust. Spread over the tomato sauce and top with most of the mozzarella. Cover and leave to rest for 30 mins.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 8 with a baking sheet inside to heat up – it should be large enough to hold the pizza tray. Combine the pork, breadcrumbs, egg yolk, fennel seeds and some seasoning in a large bowl. Mix everything with your hands for about 5 mins until well combined, then roll the mixture into 12 balls. Heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, and fry the meatballs for 5 mins until evenly browned. Set aside.

  • STEP 5

    Brush the crust of the pizza with a little oil, then sprinkle over the polenta. Top the pizza with the meatballs, pressing them into the sauce and cheese a little, then scatter over the remaining mozzarella. Immediately slide the pizza tray onto the hot baking sheet and bake for 15-18 mins, or until the pizza is cooked through in the middle and crisp around the edges. Scatter over the parmesan and oregano, then slice into six squares to serve.

Recipe tip

You can adapt the toppings according to what you have or prefer. Salami or pepperoni work really well, as does vegetable antipasti. For a grown-up version, try nduja instead – a spicy Italian sausage.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2021


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A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.5 ratings

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