I don't know anything specific about their recipes, but let me add some things that basically go down memory lane here for me. I lived in the Homewood-Flossmoor area (south Chicago suburbs) for over 25 years before moving elsewhere (and ending up here on the Gulfcoast of Florida). I knew Joe Aurelio when he first started his pizzeria in a small store front on 175th Street, about two blocks away from his now famous flagship restaurant, which he built from a huge old converted warehouse alongside the Illinois Central Railroad tracks. Before he moved to his huge warehouse restaurant, you ate your pizza on wooden picnic tables inside the original restaurant, which was a lot of fun. And Joe personally made most of the pizzas back then himself.
Joe, of course, passed away a few years ago and his presence is really missed in the business today. During those 25 plus years, I must have gotten pizzas from Aurelio's at least once or twice a month and always enjoyed his super pizza product. Wherever his kids went to college, he opened a pizzeria nearby. I remember going to the Aurelio's on Camelback Rd near Phoenix, Arizona (or was in McDonald Rd) several times when I was out there on business, and to one in Minnesota, and other locations that I can't remember right now. Most of those are closed now (kids graduated, I guess).
When he was at the old restaurant on 175th St., he used deck ovens only. And when they moved to their new warehouse-size flagship restaurant, they took the old deck ovens, but added a conveyor oven also. Most people did not like the pizzas that were baked in the conveyor oven and . . . till this day, . . . most of the old Aurelio's die-hards will order their pizzas made in the original or "old oven." I guarantee you, go to Aurelio's in Homewood today and tell that to the waitress when you place your order and she (or he) will know exactly what you mean. But if you do not specify, your pizza will be baked in the conveyor oven . . . that's their unspoken rule. Pizzas at Aurelio's, though, are far, far superior when baked in the deck oven than on the conveyor oven. Without wishing to start a debate, that's my humble opinion regarding pizzas baked at other restaurants also (and this nonsense about the most successful pizza places using conveyor ovens is . . . well just that, nonsense! . . . IMO). Most of the franchises, unfortunately, went with conveyor ovens. It's understandable, of course, because most of them are businessmen (or women) $$$ and not pizza aficionados.
Regarding Aurelio's sauce . . . like I said, I had their pizzas very frequently when living close by to their home-base restaurant. I remember that their sauce had a rich tomato flavor with Italian spices, but one of them was not anise. Anise is one of my favorite spices, but Aurelio's did not put it on their pizzas. Another great south suburban pizza family, Fox's (in Beverly, Oak Lawn, and Or land Park) is famous for their great thin crust pizzas which is spiced up with Anise, which gives it a very unique, unforgettable taste. And unlike what some others had said, I do not recall Aurelio's having a very sweet sauce. While it had a little sweet flavor to it, it was not overpowering or much at all. I made note of that thought a few months ago when I had an Aurelio's pizza at the Naples, Florida Aurelio's restaurant (a franchise run by a family from Homewood-Flossmoor). It was a great and flavorful sauce, somewhat sweet but not overly so.
And the cheese that they use is very unique, too. I often got (and still do down in Naples) unbaked Aurelio's pizzas for the freezer. While their cheese looks like just plain Mozzarella, it cooks up -- as someone above mentioned -- with a nice crusty, crispy cheese texture on top that I've never seen on other pizzas. I often wondered if their cheese didn't have parmesan or romano blended into the mozzarella somehow, but the uncooked pizzas give no appearance of parmesan, romano, or any other grated cheese shaken over it.
All in all, Aurelio's has got to be one of the finest examples of great Chicago thin crust pizzas.