I have much to say on the topic of pizza eating. For my toddler, pizza can be a vehicle for toppings she wouldn’t consider eating on their own. Figs? Arugula? Onions? Olives? Broccoli? Foggetaboudit. But on pizza? Peesa! Yef pwease! she says as she slams the first piece in her mouth.
My four-year-old finds pizza-making a shade even more fun than pizza-eating, and I can see a special glimmer light up in her eyes when I tell her what’s on the menu. Homemade pizza, yes!! I slide the learning tower up to the counter, and the two of us get to work rolling, slicing (yes, I hold my breath as I hand her a dull paring knife), and spreading.
Homemade pizza is quick, easy, and dare I say cheap? Yes, of course I say it. You can speed up the process by buying pre-made dough; Trader Joe’s even carries a whole wheat variety, and it’s still only $1. ONE dollar! It’s a great meal for Friday night family gatherings around the table. Our kids aren’t old enough yet for an official “game night,” but I have the feeling in a few years we’ll incorporate that tradition with the pizza making.
Our always helpful meat CSA farmer shared a great pizza recipe from another CSA member to use up some sweet Italian sausage. I changed it up a bit to use fresh figs I’d gotten from a farm, but her original fig jelly is also delicious if you don’t have fresh figs. The member says “An easy weeknight dinner, this homemade sausage pizza is an unusual combination of savory with a hint of sweet from the fig jam, and really showcases the flavor of the sausage. It’s a nice change from the usual takeout pizza! While homemade dough is delicious, ready-made allows you to put this recipe together really quickly.”
amazing sausage pizza
1 ball purchased or homemade pizza dough
1 Tbs. oil
1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4-5 Tbs. best quality fig jam, or 5-6 fresh figs, chopped
1 container (5 oz.) shredded three-cheese blend (a combination of fontina, asiago and parmesan)
Bring dough to room temperature. Preheat over to 425 degF. Spray a pizza pan or large cookie sheet with cooking spray or grease lightly with olive oil. Saute sausage and 1 Tbs. oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat until brown. Remove to a towel-lined plate. Leave 1 Tbs. of fat in skillet and cook onions over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until caramelized.
Meanwhile, roll dough out into a large circle and place dough on pan. Spread jam over dough, leaving about an inch border uncovered around the edge (if using fresh figs, place with sausage). Sprinkle cheese over top of jam. Scatter sausage over the pizza.
Baking time depends on the size and thickness of your pizza. Begin checking after 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting.