Chef Fabio Viviani’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza | Wine Enthusiast
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Chef Fabio Viviani’s deep dish pizza

Chef Fabio Viviani’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Courtesy Fabio Viviani, chef/owner, Siena Tavern, Chicago

Fabio Viviani, a Top Chef alum and owner of Chicago’s Siena Tavern and Bar Siena, offers his take on Chicago deep dish, which includes a spicy tomato sauce. He likes pepperoni that’s been baked a bit before it goes on the pizza, so it becomes burnt and crispy. A native of Florence, Italy, Viviani serves thin-crust pizza, but as he told us, “Pizza is pizza, and when you live in Chicago…there is no excuse to not know how to make a deep-dish pizza.”


5 Fresno chiles, halved and seeded
1 head garlic, end sliced off, plus 4 smashed cloves
9–10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
6 sundried tomato pieces
10 fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons semolina
2¾ teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella


Heat oven to 425˚F.

Toss chiles and garlic head with olive oil to coat, and place on baking pan. Roast until lightly charred and soft to touch, about 45 minutes. Slice chiles into ⅛-inch strips. Carefully remove garlic cloves from skin.

Over medium heat, warm 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add smashed garlic, and brown. Add canned tomatoes. Bring to boil, and smash with potato masher. Reduce to simmer. Add sundried tomatoes, basil, chiles and roasted garlic. Simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and pass through food mill or blend until slightly chunky.

To make dough: Mix flour, semolina and yeast. Slowly add 2 tablespoons olive oil, melted butter, vegetable oil and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (85˚–90˚F). Knead by hand or stand mixer fitted with dough hook on medium-low speed. Transfer to lightly oiled bowl. Cover with towel and let sit 1 hour, or until dough becomes very puffy.

Heat oven to 425˚F.

Coat 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan with 3–4 tablespoons olive oil. Stretch dough into large circle on lightly oiled baking mat. Transfer to pizza pan, and stretch toward edges until it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Spread sauce on crust, and scatter mozzarella and desired toppings evenly atop. Bake 35 minutes, or until cheese just starts to brown. Remove from oven, and let rest for 2 minutes. Serves 4.

Optional Toppings

Burnt spicy pepperoni (baked for 7 minutes at 425˚F)
Fennel sausage
Romano and Cheddar (in addition to mozzarella)

Wine Pairing

Adam Sweders, wine director for DineAmic Hospitality Group, which owns Viviani’s restaurants, recommends Paul Anheuser 2016 Schlossböckelheimer Koenigsfels Riesling Kabinett. “This pizza brings the heat, so the residual sugar present in [this] German Riesling is a must to combat the spice. The body of this wine is quite full, which will dance nicely with perhaps the fullest body of all foods, deep dish pizza. Add in Riesling’s natural knack for high acid, and you have a wine begging for bite after bite.”

A rosé sparkler like Alfred Gratien NV Brut Rosé Champagne is also an elegant sidekick to Viviani’s spicy pie. Bold strawberry and ripe cherry flavors persist through a long, toasty finish, while vivid acidity keeps the heat of the dish in check.

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