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Little Italy Homemade Pizza

7 Reviews

We call it the Little Italy or Italian Lovers Pizza. It's seriously our absolute favorite recipe! ohsweetbasil.com

I used to hate homemade pizza and clearly I was the problem, well it may have been my recipes too, but I just didn’t like it. I felt like the jarred sauce in the store was never as good as the real deal and the crust was too flat or too bland. And of course the cheese was never the problem because cheese melted is always awesome. Always. But then Cade and I really started experimenting and we totally fell in love with a few recipes like this creamy pesto chicken, our favorite 4 cheese margherita and now this Little Italy Homemade Pizza.

We call it the Little Italy or Italian Lovers Pizza. It's seriously our absolute favorite recipe! ohsweetbasil.com

I really think it was probably the company that put us all in such a good mood that we were able to make such an amazing pizza, but I wont argue if you want to say it’s thanks to the ingredients. We had so much fun with our friends who’s pretty picture is to the left. Do you see them? Have you checked out their site? They are trying to adopt and word of mouth is what makes it happen so please remember them if you hear of anyone in need!!! Anyway, It starts off with our new favorite crust thanks to my cute cousin and our famous pizza sauce. Yes, it’s famous. Probably just in our family but it does go crazy on pinterest so there.

We call it the Little Italy or Italian Lovers Pizza. It's seriously our absolute favorite recipe! ohsweetbasil.com

One very, very important step is actually what should be happening while you make the pizza sauce. And FYI, we make ours every month and freeze it in bags or store in jars in the fridge to use over the next two weeks. Anyway, you want to get the caramelized onions and peppers going because they take almost an hour to cook. But don’t have a heart attack, you really just plop them into a pan and walk away only stirring every 5-10 minutes. And a stainless pan is essential as it allows the fond or little caramelized bits to form. Anyway, let it sit and get yummy.

We call it the Little Italy or Italian Lovers Pizza. It's seriously our absolute favorite recipe! ohsweetbasil.com

Next we pinch off and roll into balls spicy Italian sausage and cook it up in a pan then set it aside on a paper towel to drain off excess grease. Now, assemble with sauce, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, caramelized onions and peppers and bake the whole thing. Oh! Don’t forget to place your pizza stone in the oven while it’s heating to 500 degrees (not broil). An extremely hot pan is key for a good pizza. No cold pans allowed. Then brush with a little oil and corn meal to get moving. After baking, sprinkle with sliced sun dried tomatoes and enjoy!

Can Pizza Dough Be Made Ahead of Time?

Pizza dough can actually be made the night before.

Cover the divided dough balls in plastic wrap as soon as they’ve finished the first rising.

Store the balls in the fridge overnight.

Is Spaghetti Sauce and Pizza Sauce the Same Thing?

You can use spaghetti sauce on a pizza.

Pizza sauce is usually uncooked canned tomato, with a touch of basil, oregano, salt, and sometimes garlic.

Spaghetti sauce has more onion and garlic, more herbs, and has been cooked for a few hours.

But, you can use pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce.

How Do You Reheat Pizza?

The best way to reheat pizza and keep the crisp crust is to heat a skillet on medium-high for a minute, add the pizza, cover loosely with a lid, and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Pizza can also be reheated in the oven.

Heat a foil-lined cookie sheet in a 450°F oven until hot (high heat makes the crust crispy).

Arrange slices on the sheet and heat 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

Little Italy Homemade Pizza

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

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We call it the Little Italy or Italian Lovers Pizza. It's seriously our absolute favorite recipe! ohsweetbasil.com

Little Italy Homemade Pizza

3.29 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Servings: 12


For the Crust

  • 4 3/4 Cup flour 24oz by weight
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 Cups warm water 16.5oz by weight

To assemble

  • cornmeal
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese or more, grated
  • 1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage pinched into very small balls and cooked
  • pepperoni
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil

Caramelized Onions and Peppers

  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


  • The key to a good dough is weighing your ingredients. Trust me it makes a difference, but measuring will work ok if needed.
  • Stir flour, yeast and sugar together.
  • Then stir in salt. (salt kills yeast, so you shouldn't let it touch directly)
  • Stir in water. Stir JUST until all flour is absorbed. NO KNEADING.
  • Cover dough in olive oil or canola oil.
  • Let rise 30 -60 minutes.
  • You can cover in saran wrap in the fridge and then let rest on the counter for 20 minutes if needed.

For the caramelized veggies

  • In a stainless steel pan over medium heat, add the butter and oil then the onions and peppers. It will be a full pan, but don't worry.
  • Stir everything together and then allow to start cooking.
  • If it's browning the edges too fast turn down your heat.
  • Allow to cook for 40-60 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
  • Keep turning down the heat if the onions are browning too quickly.
  • You'll want to scrape up the bottom and remember, brown is good as we want it to caramelize but turning brown in the first few minutes is too fast. Slow and steady for these guys.

To assemble

  • Place a pizza stone in the oven and heat to 475 degrees.
  • Once the oven is hot, sprinkle a little cornmeal on the counter and stretch (do not roll with a rolling pin) the dough into 2 pizzas.
  • Pull out your pizza pan and brush with a small amount of oil and a little sprinkling of cornmeal.
  • Moving quickly, put the stretched out dough on the pan, spread a little sauce, sprinkle with cheese then add the pepperoni, sausage, peppers and onions.
  • Bake  until the cheese and crust are beginning to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sun dried tomatoes.


store left overs in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
Nutrition Facts
Little Italy Homemade Pizza
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 343 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 859mg37%
Potassium 269mg8%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 558IU11%
Vitamin C 23mg28%
Calcium 113mg11%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Will the water for the crust need to be heated so it will not kill the yeast?

    • Reply
    • Yes, the recipe says “warm water”. That will help the yeast activate. Great question!

      • Reply
  • what kind of yeast does this recipe call for? I usually need to proof my yeast, since it isn’t instant. Will this affect the recipe overall?

    • Reply
    • Hi Amber, we prefer instant but either yeast can be used as we proof both kinds as a way to make sure we never use dead yeast. 🙂

      • Reply
  • ooooh! This pizza looks crispy and full of tasty toppings!

    • Reply
  • We do pizza night at home for Monday night football… this looks like a definite winner!

    • Reply
    • Thanks so much Jena!

      • Reply
  • I love homemade pizza night, and this classic combo is hard to beat! The hubs will propose all over again if I make this, I’m positive 😉

    • Reply
    • And no one could hate a second proposal!

      • Reply
  • This is what I need for dinner tonight! Really awesome!

    • Reply
    • You would totally love it!

      • Reply
  • This pizza is my dream pizza. I need it!

    • Reply
    • Thanks SO much Jocelyn

      • Reply

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄