This is a pizza variation which originated in Trenton, NJ, so it is sometimes called a Trenton Tomato Pie. In a conventional pizza, there are three distinct layers on top of the dough: sauce, then cheese, then toppings (pepperoni, etc.) A tomato pie is constructed differently. First is the cheese, which is applied more sparingly than in a conventional pizza. Then comes the toppings, which in this case are little balls of Italian sausage. Last is the tomato, which is also applied sparingly, so that there are spaces in which the cheese is uncovered. The result of this approach is that all of the cheese, toppings, and tomato are intermingled. This is pizza stripped back to its origins as flavored bread, so it is very important that all of the ingredients be of top quality.
Here is how I made Tomato pie for one person. Scale up these amounts for more. This is an adaptation of the description in Serious Eats of a pizza made by DeLorenzo’s Pizza in Trenton.
¼ of pizza dough (~ 6 oz. See this post Pizza for Many or for One )
2 oz. grated mozzarella
3 oz. Italian sausage, rolled into little balls and dusted with flour
½ cup crushed whole tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Sprinkle of Italian seasoning
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees while working on the toppings.
Place about 2 whole canned tomatoes in a food processor and turn into a puree, yielding about half a cup.
Form the pizza dough into a 9 inch round on a piece of baking parchment. Sprinkle on the mozzarella, then the Italian sausage balls, then the tomato in splotches (do not try to cover the pizza evenly), and last sprinkle on the Italian seasoning.
Bake about 15 minutes until done. Cut and serve immediately.