Deep-dish meatball marinara pizza

A close up of a person holding a slice of pizza Pizza Recipes

Preparation and cooking time

  • Prep:1 hr
  • Cook:1 hr
  • 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

Nutrient Unit
kcal 686
fat 28g
saturates 10g
carbs 75g
sugars 8g
fibre 4g
protein 32g
salt 1.7g


  • 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)
Pizza pockets

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
Pitta pizzas

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
Rye pizza with figs, fennel, gorgonzola & hazelnuts

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.

Gluten-free pizza

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.

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