Monday, January 17, 2011

Pizza - Caramelized Onions and Peppers, Italian Sausage and Tomatoes

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.



  1. You're killing me! That looks so good. Ya know Pizza Monday sounds like a good idea. I usually wait until Friday. Why wait? I have to start doing Pizza Monday, everyone will think it is Friday. Hehe. I may just have a beer with it too.

  2. I'm all about the thick crust and loaded pizza so I know Jackie is a girl after my own heart. This pizza looks amazing!

  3. OH YUM!! Thick crust...extra cheese....caramelized onions....I'm in heaven! I made a pizza last week and used creamy poblano sauce with other mexican style ingredients. I prefer anything but tomato sauce on my pizza

  4. Ooooeeee! Now that is one heck of a good lookin' pizza, cher! I am drooling and printing..... And I agree with Jackie that loaded is best! Cheers!

  5. This looks seriously good...wich I had it for breakfast.

  6. That is one loaded pizza! Looks amazing!

  7. Yum! I LOVE pizza! It has to be the most perfect food ever invented!

    This is my first time visiting your blog, and you've already got me drooling with this delicious pizza and the pictures in your sidebar. I'm adding your blog to the food page on my blog :-)

  8. My husband loves fresh tomatoes on his pizza, but his crusts are always soggy - I'll try your method next time of drying them off really well, and then layering cheese on the bottom - okay, without all those damn onions, that's a fine looking pizza Dave!

  9. This is my type of pizza! Looks delish!

    Blesings to you!

  10. just made this tonight- so delicious!! thank you for the recipe- i look forward to trying out your other ones!