Connie’s “Natural” is another frozen pie spawned from a Chicago pizzeria. Their hook is the product is “all natural”, which isn’t a selling point for me, personally, but it appears to make some people happy.
In 1963, Jim Stolfe traded his 1962 Oldsmobile for a small pizza shop on Chicago’s south side. Over the past 50 years, the family has grown that small pizzeria into a mini empire, comprised of restaurants, branded concepts, commercial food service, and frozen product for consumers.
I reviewed some other Chicago frozen pies recently, and today we’ll see how Connie’s stands up to the others. First off, it was on sale for $5, and at 23.3 ounces, that comes in at about 21 cents per ounce, and that’s a pretty good deal in frozen pizza land.
The ingredient list does, indeed, look all “natural.” The crust is flour, water, oil, sugar, yeas, salt, milk, cornmeal, granulated garlic. That’s the same ingredient list that I use to make crust from scratch at home.
Mozzarella Cheese. Sauce is tomatoes, water, oil, salt seasoning, cheese. Sausage is pork, spices, water, salt, sugar, dried garlic, lemon juice, rosemary extract, and oil. You can get much more “natural” than that!
Directions are to bake at 400 for 16-18 minutes. Results are pictured below. It’s a fairly crispy crust; the box’s suggestion for a crispier crust, brush the bottom and sides of the crust with olive oil before baking. I did not try that method this time. The tomato sauce tastes like……………….tomatoes! Cheese is good; it’s shredded on the pie. The sausage didn’t grab me. I’d like larger chunks, more of them, with more flavor. I personally subscribe to the school of thought that Italian sausage needs fennel, and Connie’s lacks it. Just a personal preference.
Overall, it’s a good pie. Would I buy it regularly ahead of the other Chicago frozens, Home Run or Reggios? Don’t think so, but I’d buy it if it was at this same sale price again, and it’d be my first choice if HRI or Reggios wasn’t available.
The pie I bought, thin crust sausage, is described here.
If you’re in the Chicago area, and want to visit a Connie’s restaurant, here’s a typical menu.