Pizza alla Salsiccia (Sausage Pizza)

This was a simple pizza with a complex layering of flavors.  We enjoyed this on an autumn weeknight with a bottle of Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec 2005, and the rich flavors were outstanding.  The sweet sausage and fennel married will with the spiciness of the red pepper flakes and the red onion, and the crust was wonderfully crisp.  It’s almost a cheeseless pizza, but the brisk punch of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese had all the flavor we needed.  Be sure to not settle for simple Parmesan cheese.  It’s terrific, but for this dish I think you’d really miss the sharp nutty flavor of the Reggiano.  I’ll admit that we also went with two links of sausage instead of one, but it would have been fine with one.  We’re from the midwest, give us a break.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (4-ounce) link sweet turkey Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup chopped seeded tomato (about 2 tomatoes)
  • 1 Thin Pizza Crust
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation:

1. Position an oven rack in lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack.

2. Preheat oven to 475°. Preheat pizza stone 30 minutes before baking pizza.

3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepper to pan; cook 10 seconds. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage, fennel, and onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble sausage. Stir in salt. Add tomato; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.

4. Spread sausage mixture over Basic Pizza Dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Slide dough onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide.

5. Bake at 475° for 10 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from pizza stone. Sprinkle with cheese. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.
Yield: 

8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

CALORIES 123 (25% from fat); FAT 3.4g (sat 1g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.2g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 15mg; CALCIUM 43mg; CARBOHYDRATE 16.7g; SODIUM 365mg; PROTEIN 6.4g; FIBER 1.6g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2008

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