When I was 17 I worked as a "cook" in the kitchen of a mall pizzaria. They had a chicago style stuffed crust spinach white sauce pizza that I prepared for them every day (their recipe) that I fell in love with. When I left the restaurant finally, I used their recipe (memorized of course) and re-invented this dish MY way.....It's taken me years to perfect, but trust me, it's awesome...For those of you who are thrown off by the fact it uses spinach as a main ingredient, don't be!!! I absolutely HATE spinach with a passion, but I adore this pizza. Serve it with homemade marinara sauce for dipping (will post this recipe soon!).
In a stand mixer, mix together the water, oil and yeast until the yeast is fully dissolved. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low until most of the flour has mixed with the wet ingredients. Increase speed and knead until dough forms a ball and is smooth, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow dough to double in bulk, about two hours.
While dough is rising lets prepare our filling and get our oven going. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Over a large bowl, squeeze each head of roasted garlic gently with your fingers to expel the cloves. Add in Olive oil, Ricotta Cheese, Spinach, Mushrooms (drained and dried), and 1 cup of the Mozzerella cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix thoroughly.
When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and knead it briefly (about 1 minute). Remove 1/3 of the dough and place it back in the bowl, covering tightly. Roll the larger 2/3 portion of dough out into a 16" circle. Place the dough into a lightly greased 15" x 2" round deep-dish pizza pan. The dough should come up 2" on the sides. Fill the dough shell with your spinach mixture.
Sprinkle remaining mozzerella cheese on top of the spinach mixture.
Roll out the remaining dough into a 14" circle and place it on top of the filling. Pinch the top and side edges together to seal. Prick the top with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Let the pizza rise an additional 15 minutes in the pan before baking. Bake at 500-degrees F. for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400-degrees F. and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust is done.
While pizza is baking, prepare your Marinara sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over a medium flame.
Saute onions until the start to become tender, add garlic and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn it. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a little bit of water to the pan. Add in all herbs and cook for another 45 seconds - 1 minute.
Add in tomatoes, water, and tomato paste, blending well with the onions, herbs and garlic mix.
Add in your brown sugar and salt to taste. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until tomatoes have broken down. Remove from heat and remove your bay leaves. Use this for dipping sauce. This sauce recipe makes a LOT of sauce, however leftover sauce freezes extremely well, and like most things Italian, it's even better the second day around, so it can be used with another pasta recipe later if desired.
I know that there are a lot of steps involved in making this pizza, and it takes quite a bit of time, however if you prepare all of your ingrediants (measure, chop, roast, etc) before starting any steps in this recipe, you'll find it's much easier to handle.