It's Monday, so it must be PIZZA DAY!!!!
And today I have a real winner. Now, normally, I am a single ingredient fan for pizzas. Pepperoni is perfect on it's own. There is just no need for a supreme pizza with so many ingredients that nothing stands out. My wife on the other hand appreciates a loaded 'za. She also likes a thicker crust. So this one is all her idea. LOTS and LOTS of onions, LOTS and Lots of peppers, a full pound of Italian sausage and a double layer of mozzarella cheese!
Oh, and as opposed to last week, where I revealed my fast and easy winter tomato sauce (click HERE), this week I just lined the crust with sliced tomatoes. This time of year, the most flavorful tomato available is usually a ROMA tomato. Sprinkle a little salt on the tomato slices to help enhance the taste.
And that's my tip for the day...
Pizza Tip #3...
Think outside the box for sauces. A pesto sauce, a white garlic sauce, or even as in this case, just a layer of fresh tomatoes make for an alternative to just a marinara sauce..
I wanted all these vegetables to SING. And one of the best ways would be to caramelize the onions and peppers a bit. I was using a red and a green jalapeño, as well as a few slivers of a sweeter Poblano pepper. I just sliced the peppers into slivers, sliced the onions into half rings. I melted butter and added the onions and peppers and sprinkled a couple tsp of sugar onto the veggies. Sauteed for about 20 minutes.
The sausage I used was from a local farm. They pride themselves on the spicy quality of the Italian blend, and it did not disappoint. I browned the sausage to just remove the pink color. the sausage would finish cooking while the pizza was in the oven.
This was a heavy pizza. The veggies and raw tomatoes would have a lot of moisture in them. I patted them dry with paper towels, but there would still be lots of moisture coming out of them. I decided to put a layer of mozzarella cheese (freshly grated of course) on the bottom as a protective layer between the dough and the moisture.
I also cooked on a VERY HOT pizza stone. I'll cover pizza stones in another post one day. But preheating is a must. I fire up my oven to it's highest setting, 500 degrees. I put the stone in for at least 30 minutes before I put the pizza in. The HOT stone will get a nice crisp crust, even with all the liquid that was added to this pizza.
And finally, I topped with a few slices of Mozzarella on the top.
OK... Here's how to make a
Caramelized Onions and Peppers, Italian Sausage with fresh tomatoes PIZZA...
Crust of choice, premade or homemade
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
3 sliced Roma Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese (freshly grated of course)
1 sweet Onion, sliced into rings, rings cut in half
2 Jalapeño Peppers cut into slivers (be nice if you find a couple of red ones for color)
2 Pablano Peppers, also sliced into slivers
1 pound Italian Sausage, browned
- Preheat oven and pizza stone (or heavy baking sheet) to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
- Begin caramelizing the onions and peppers
- Roll your crust out on parchment paper to your likeness... Thin, Chewy or thick like a bread.
- Brush Olive oil around the edges to get a beautiful Golden Brown and Delicious looking crust.
- Salt and pepper the crust at this time
- layer the mozzarella
- Layer the sliced tomatoes to within 1/2 inch of the edge
- Top with Sausage..
- add the Onions and peppers
- Add the slices of Mozzarella on top
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and get that baked color.