A classic deep dish pizza that's got it all going on: A crust that's crisp at the edges and soft in the center, stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with tomato sauce and Parmesan. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
Make the sauce: In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.
Add the tomato paste and stir over medium-low heat until it darkens slightly. Stir in the crushed tomato (and Parmesan rind, if using) and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the oregano and simmer until the sauce develops good flavor, 20-25 minutes.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes (if using). Set aside to cool slightly.
Make the pizza: Generously grease the base and sides of a 9x13-inch pan with the olive oil.
Using lightly floured or oiled hands, press the dough out into a rectangle shape. Use your hands to gently stretch the dough at the edges until it is slightly larger than the pan.
Transfer the dough to the pan and turn it over to coat it on both sides with oil. Use your fingers to stipple it all over with your fingers to make it evenly cover the base of the pan—it should come up the sides too, by at least 1-inch.
Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Add a thin layer of sauce (about 1/2 cup) on top of the crust and spread into an even layer. Layer the mozzarella evenly on top of the sauce.
Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce and an even layer of Parmesan. Bake the pizza until the edges and parmesan are golden brown and the sauce is bubbly, 40-45 minutes.
Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, is out on November 10th, 2020.