Wow, Mojo Man--lots to reply to there!
I think the corn smell is probably corn oil. But other than that, the dough does have certain characteristics that are hard to nail down. I wish we could crowdsource this thing here. I know BTB is a big Aurelio's guy, too, and there surely must be others. I, too, have searched far and wide for the videos and so forth. Aurelio's does have a slightly thicker crust than other Chicago thin--but not quite to HRI proportions. I also believe it has a higher oil content, based on what the underside looks like, how it smells, etc. That aspect reminds me of some of the DD I've made--that golden, surface of the moon look, with irregular dimples, divots, pocks, etc. I almost wonder if it would benefit from a short knead or no-knead and a long ferment.
As far as the sauce goes, try the recipe I've posted here. I really think it nails it. I'm bummed that I can't find Classico anymore, because they have an inherent sweetness that was essential to this recipe. Maybe I can sub in something else and adjust accordingly, or just mail order 6n1. Forget OJ and everything else. Try this recipe.
Their sausage is great. I agree. They actually sold it in stores for a while. Still might. I haven't been able to find a source, though. You are right: the sausage is sweet. I may try upping the sugar content on my sausage recipe to see if that will get us closer. Fennel is also sweet. I wonder if we could up the fennel a bit, too?
When I was up there last summer, I didn't think the cheese was particularly orange, as others have said. Just seemed like a properly cooked pie. Maybe a lil scamorza, which is unobtanium around these parts. Never saw it in stores up there, either (I looked everywhere). I do know that they use a crapload of cheese. One of the most heavily cheesed pies in the whole area. (Heavy on the sauce, too.)