Friday, April 10, 2009

Sausage and Red Pepper Pizza...

Jeff again added some input for this week's Friday Night Pizza. I had asked him when I was menu planning if he had any ideas in mind before I went searching for a recipe and he replied with "Sausage pizza sounds good!". Then he went and shocked me a bit when I said "That's good, how 'bout we throw in some red peppers too?" and he said yes, add some. Huh? Who is this person and why has he all of a sudden taken to requesting peppers? See, he used to say he "tolerated" them before when I included them in recipes, but I guess times are finally a changin'! Woo!

To get a jump on the Sausage and Red Pepper Pizza I made for dinner tonight, I filled up the food processor with the pantry ingredients to make our favorite whole-wheat pizza dough and set it off to rise while I got the laundry taken care of. Too bad I didn't come up with a more complicated pizza so I would have been too busy to deal with that!

To cut down on the grease factor, I used turkey sausage, hot Italian-style, and tossed the meat into a skillet, with a bunch of cubes from a red pepper to cook. This is the time you'll want to break down the sausage as it cooks into crumbles, however don't smooth it around too much - leave it on the chunkier side (about the size of a large marble) so you get bigger, meaty bites on your pizza. The sausage is nice as-is, but a minute or so before it was browned and cooked through, I scattered over cracked fennel seeds as I find I like a more poignant anise flavor to pair with the seasonings already inside.

Since I didn't want the sausage to cook much more, and we wanted a crispy thin crust, I went ahead and gave the stretched out round a quick pre-bake on the stone before continuing on. When you remove the crust, flip it over and add the toppings to the side that had is already slightly golden because of the contact with the baking stone - this helps protect that area from getting over-browned. A smear of pizza sauce, followed by a portion of the shredded mozzarella went on top, along with the sausage nuggets and red peppers. We rained down with more shreds of mozzarella over the top since extra cheese is always good idea.

Since the dough had already gotten a start, the pizza was ready in about ten short minutes when the crust had finished turning golden and the cheese melted on top. If you like an onion-y bite to your pizza, add rings of red onion on after you scatter the chunky bits of sausage and under the safety net of the cheese. With nothing complicated or fussy about homemade pizza and results much better than you'd get from the store (and not to mention better for you!), I hope we are inspiring others to settle into at least a night of pizza making at home each week!


  1. This sounds like another winner of a recipe, Joe - my husband and I have discovered a love for peppers as well, through this healthy eating plan we're on now.

    You inspired us! At least for a while there; we've fallen off the bandwagon for the moment but I find myself looking forward to your Friday pizza posts, so I might have to find some healthy pizza recipes soon!

    I hear you on the laundry...I don't mind doing it so much as where I have to do it. We live in somewhat of an older, not very well taken care of building and the laundry room is icky and way down in the basement.

    Tonight, it appears, that one of the dryers that had previously been making a whole lot of noise is now emitting some sort of strange smell...leaving only one properly functioning machine.

    I think I'm 3 other people's loads away from using it....sigh. :)

  2. You cook, clean & do laundry - the perfect house husband.

  3. MB - I know exactly what you are talking about with that laundry room in the basement... been there, done that!

    Anon - Hee hee!

  4. Seriously? This is one of my favorite flavor combinations for pizza. How delightful! And I just love how thin you got the crust. Delicious!