Friday, July 03, 2009

Calabrese Potato Provolone Pizza

You may have to do a little searching for one specialty ingredient in the Friday Night Pizza we made this evening, but I'll tell you now it is worth seeking out.

What makes this Calabrese Potato Provolone Pizza top notch was the sausage used on top. Calabrese is a dry Italian sausage that is made with pork and seasoned with hot chile peppers for a vigorous bite - you'll often also find it flavored with garlic and fennel. If you absolutely couldn't get your hands on some, you could swap it out for salami or even pepperoni.

The other way this pizza is tuned up? Sliced potatoes! Waxy Yukon gold potatoes, in fact, which are sliced as thinly as possible - preferably using a mandolin to get paper-thin slices. They need to be as thin as possible as they are not pre-cooked before arranging them onto the pizza. If you do end up with thicker slices of potato, you may want to give them a quite dunk in salted boiling water for a few minutes to give them a head start - tender potatoes are a good thing, where raw potatoes might not be as pleasing!

We used the twelve ounce version of our whole-wheat pizza dough to give us a thinner crust, but if you wish for more chew, try out the pound version instead. Once the stretchable dough was pressed out, the top was slathered in marinara sauce, followed by the thinly sliced potatoes and spicy sausage rounds.

For a savory herbal note, we snipped a few leaves from our sage plant outside and gave them a quick run through with a knife, leaving us with shreds to sprinkle on top. Cheese was on tap next to be added, but we didn't go single here - we went with two... mozzarella and provolone!

We didn't opt for just any provolone - we decided on one that was aged, luring us in with its full, extra-sharp jolt. Baked on our stone until the crust was richly golden and the cheese on top melted together, flooding the top of the pizza in a slick of gooey browned cheese, we made sure to give it a few minutes (though not many) before we sliced into it, giving it a chance to set. I couldn't even get the whole thing cut into wedges before I swiped a bite from one of my slices! I tuned out all the background noise and just stood there for a couple silent minutes, letting the flavors wash over my taste buds, shocking them from their slumber as that heat in the sausage brought them to life. Jeff was getting antsy, so he had to cut himself a slice (oops...) and found out exactly where I was taken to. Seven ingredients coming together to create one naughty pizza and a couple of stuffed stomachs - what a way to start the weekend with a bang!


  1. This looks amazing. I have never had the calabrese sausage before nor have I had potatoes on a pizza. This is something I want to try. Thank you for the post!

  2. I am vegetarian and don't eat sausage - at least, sausage made of meat - so I'm wondering if the veggie sausage would work on this? Morningstar Farms has veggie sausage and I've never tried it, but I like most of their other products. The potatoes are what lure me to this delicious-looking recipe. Next time I go shopping I'll grab some veggie ingredients and report back. It's amazing how many 'regular' recipes can be converted. Converted to a tasty dish, that is.

  3. Samantha - I'm not sure as I've never had that type of sausage before. Let us know how it works out for you!