Throwdown with Bobby Flay: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (Lou Malnati)

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Bobby Flay challenges Marc Malnati (the son of Lou Malnati) from Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in a Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza Throwdown. When it comes to Chicago style deep dish pizza, there are only 2 pizzerias that stand above all else: Pizza Uno and Lou Malnati's. With over 30 locations in the greater Chicago, IL area, Lou Malnati's is the gold standard of deep dish pizza, but can a native New Yorker known for his Southwest cuisine beat one of the Windy City's iconic pizzeria owners in his own game? See the episode (season 5, episode 9) below.

Throwdown with Bobby Flay: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Being from New York, Bobby Flay is more accustomed to thin slice New York style pizzas instead of the hearty deep dish variety. Chicago's version of pizza is a robust slice of cheesy and doughy goodness enough to quell the appetite of a famished soul.

Bobby Flay's take on Chicago's deep dish pizza includes a filling of Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, provolone cheese, and fontina cheese. I like this filling even though it's a rather unconventional topping for pizza. It's definitely different than your standard pepperoni and sausage pizza, but it's still pretty good. I highly recommend trying it for a different flavor profile for your pizza and that's the beauty of it. Just think of a pizza as a blank canvas - you can decorate it with any topping you so desire and it can still be called a work of art. I personally like making the pizza dough from America's Test Kitchen deep dish pizza instead. I find it to be more flaky and buttery and just easier to handle than Bobby Flay's dough.

Deep-Dish Pizza with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Recipe

Throwdown with Bobby Flay - season 5, episode 9, Deep-Dish Pizza
Makes 2 9-10 in deep dish pizzas


Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Filling
.75 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large bunch broccoli rabe, washed and coursely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
.25 tsp red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper and salt
4 tbsp olive oil

Tomato Sauce
1 (32 oz) can plum tomatoes coarsely chopped, no juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper and salt
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
2 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

5.5 cups AP flour
.5 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups warm water (90 degrees F)
2 packages quick-rise dry yeast
.25 cup olive oil, plus more to oil pans
.25 cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 tsp kosher salt

.5 lb fontina cheese, grated
.5 lb provolone, grated
.5 lb freshly grated Parmesan
Tomato Sauce
Sausauge and Broccoli Rabe filling


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli rabe and blanch for 2 mins. Drain in a colander and run cold water over. Drain well again and squeeze out excess liquid.

2. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil, garlic, and chili flakes in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook for 1 min. Add the broccoli rabe, pepper and salt and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes.

3. In a separate large saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the sausage links and using a wooden spoon, gently break up the meat into coarse pieces. Cook until deep golden brown. (You do not need to cook all the way because it will continue to cook in the oven.) Combine the sausage and the broccoli rabe and let cool slightly.

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the oregano and tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook until the mixture thickens, about 15 mins. Stir in the basil and season with pepper and salt. Let cool slightly.

1. Dissolve the yeast and water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the oils and mix for 30 seconds. Add the 3 cups of flour, cornmeal, and salt and beat for 5 mins. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining 2.5 cups of flour and knead, using the dough hook for 2 mins. Add the butter and knead until incorporated. The dough is a very moist dough so do not add more flour unless absolutely needed.

2. Place the dough in a large bowl lightly oiled with vegetable oil, cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towels and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 mins. Punch down the dough and allow to double in size again.

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place 2 pizza stones into the oven to preheat as well. Generously oil 2 (9 or 10 inch) deep dish pie pans with olive oil (about 2 tbsp for each pan).

4. Divide the dough in half and press the dough out slightly on the counter top. Place the dough in the prepared pans and push out to cover the bottom and up the side of the pans. (If using the 9 inch pans, pinch a 2 inch ball off each dough to make a better fit.)

1. Combine the cheese in a bowl. Place half of the cheese of the bottom of each pie crust. Divide the sausage filling over the cheese and then top with the remaining cheese, patting the cheese firmly down over the filling. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the cheese to cover completely. Place the pans into the oven on the pizza stones and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 40 mins. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with Parmesan. Let the pizza rest on a baking sheet for 5 mins before slicing.

Part 1 of 3: Bobby Flay practices making Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Part 2 of 3: Bobby Flay challenges Marc Malnati to a Throwdown

Part 3 of 3: A Winner is Declared in the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Throwdown


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