La Fea Selección Especial 2018 with Deep Dish Pizza

La Fea Selección Especial Tinto Rojo 2018It’s pizza night, and that means homemade deep dish. Sorry DD haters, but that’s the way I roll. I paired up this hearty pie featuring Italian sausage, bell peppers, and onions with a 2018 La Fea Selección Especial Tinto Rojo. This is a fresh and bright tempranillo/garnacha blend from northeast Spain’s Cariñena region. It is named after the unfortunate nickname whispered behind the back of Queen Isabela; La Fea translates as “the ugly one.” But it pours a lovely dark cherry hue in the glass. There is a lively nose of dark fruit, with aromas of raspberry, black cherry, and violet on the palate. 40% Tempranillo, 40% Garnacha, 20% Syrah.

If you’d like to make this pizza, here’s how. Start about four hours before you plan to eat.

This California-style dough is from James McNair’s excellent New Pizza.  There’s a link to the book at the end of this post.

1 cup water at 110 degrees F
2-1/4 tsp instant rise yeast
3-1/4 cup all purpose or bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Optional: 2 tsp garlic powder and/or 1 Tbs Italian seasoning

Mix the olive oil into the flour, then add the remaining ingredients.  Then knead by hand, stand mixer, food processor, or bread machine.  Time and technique will vary, so I’ll leave that up to you.  Lightly coat the dough with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.

1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb. hot and/or mild Italian sausage
2 cans of anchovies (trust me on this)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 cups marinara or pizza sauce, homemade or store bought
1/2 cup green and/or black olives
6 oz. tomato paste
Optional: 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
3 to 4 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 Tbs dried oregano
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
10 – 12 oz. mozzarella or (even better) fontina, coarsely grated
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, add the tablespoon of olive oil and saute the sausage.  When lightly browned, transfer to a bowl.  Add the anchovies with their oil to the saucepan.  Once the oil has reheated, add all of the vegetables and cook until tender, five to eight minutes.  Add the cooked sausage, 2 cups of sauce, tomato paste, oregano, and Worchestershire sauce.  Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat as low as you can, and simmer uncovered for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

About an hour and a half before you want to eat, heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Thirty minutes after starting the oven, punch down the dough and add to the pan.  I used a 12″ deep dish pan, but this would also work with two 9″ cake pans or a 16″ pizza screen.  (For the deep dish, I like to fold the crust in and over for the last step after the filling has been added.) Brush the dough with olive oil and set aside.   It will rise some more, intentionally.

After an  hour of preheating the oven, cover the dough with the sauce (it should be off the heat for at least 15 minutes prior), the basil, and the cheese, in that order.   Bake a flat pie for about 15 minutes, but check the crust for browning after 10.  Bake the deep dish for 30 minutes, assess, and go another 10 minutes if necessary.  Remove pizza from oven, rest for five minutes on a wire rack, and serve.  Will serve six to eight.

If you make this pizza, let me know how it went.  Click on the post title to access the comments section.

The wine is sometimes available at

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