This pizza recipe is our version of the ones served in the romantic comedy, "Mystic Pizza". In the movie, Leona, the owner of a local pizza parlor, closely guards her family's sauce recipe that's made with a secret blend of Portuguese spices.
Cooking Light MARCH 1998
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups flour, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir to form a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Punch dough down; roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a baking sheet or 12-inch pizza pan coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough to form a rim. Let dough stand, covered, 10 minutes.
Place a small saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, oregano, cilantro, fennel seeds, pepper, and tomato sauce; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. Spread sauce over pizza crust; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden. Remove pizza to cutting board; cut into wedges.
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