It has been a long winters nap since I posted last, but I have a new and fabulous recipe that I just had to share. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of this dish, but I can assure you it was as nice looking as it was delicious. My husband invited guests for the Super Bowl rather last minute and asked if I would make my gaining-in popularity pizza. Lately, I have been making a basic pizza with homemade crust, olives, mushrooms, and (sometimes) pepperoni because my son begs me weekly to make this kind and so far he won't venture to any other toppings. I was excited to have a good excuse to make pizza with something a bit different. To add some spice and body, I decided to use Italian sausage. Usually, we don't eat much meat at all, but I figured I would indulge in a meaty pizza for the occasion because I found some really nice quality organic, free range Italian sausage from a local butcher. I decided, as usual, to also feature something seasonal so I settled on kale -which I am rather obsessed with lately. In compliment to the sausage and kale, I added sauteed red onions, diced Italian seasoned tomatoes, and Fontina cheese. In order to give the pie some texture, I made the kale into kale chips and this proved to be the big secret to the whole thing. I am happy to say that it was a smash hit with the guys...and I rather loved it, too. So, without further adieu, here is the recipe. :
-Basic Pizza Dough (I make my own and it is very easy but you can use store bought in a pinch.)
-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning, drained through a sieve until only a slight amount of juice remains
-good quality Fontina cheese, enough to cover the area of your dough, shredded. (You could use other cheeses, but I find the Fontina gives it just the right zip of flavor.)
-half a red onion, sliced into thin strips
-1 lb (or more depending on are of your pizza) ground Italian sausage, cooked and drained (I cooked the onions in the left over fat from the sausage but you can use olive oil instead)
-kale, washed, very well dried, ribs removed, and sliced into one inch thick and two-inch long strips
-salt and pepper
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Place washed, cut, and dried kale on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Toss with olive oil (be careful not to drench), salt, and pepper.
-Cook for 10-12 minutes until kale is crisp, but not burnt, tossing with a spatula half way through to ensure even cooking.
-Cook Italian sausage until no longer pink. Drain fat or save to saute onions.
-Set sausage on a paper towel-lined plate to rest.
-Saute red onion slices in olive oil or fat and salt and pepper until opaque and soft, about 10 minutes (You could also add garlic, shallots, shaved fennel, or shaved kohlrabi)
-Set sauteed onions aside
-Set crisp kale aside and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees
Pre-cook your pizza dough until set but not golden. I use this trick to ensure that the crust is not soggy after sauce and toppings. My dough takes about 7 minutes on 500 degrees.
-Remove dough and spoon diced tomatoes over, leaving a slight edge for crust.
-Layer shredded Fontina cheese over tomatoes
-Layer your cooked Italian sausage
-Layer the sauteed onions/other vegetables you may have added
-Top with crisp kale
-Bake until cheese is slightly bubbling, about 9-10 minutes