Homemade Pizza With Sausage Spinach & Ricotta

PIZZZAAA! My favorite go-to meal to make at home in a pinch, and definitely one of my favorite foods to eat in general. I like to make a large batch of pizza dough then separate into a couple of balls to have in freezer. That way I have homemade dough on demand. Alternatively, most local pizza shops will sell you a ball of dough for a couple bucks if you don’t have time to make your own, but want the fresh stuff! This pizza I made with some common items I always have in my fridge – fresh spinach, sausages, and ricotta. I like to make the crust really thin so that the toppings can do their thang and shine…

Ingredients:
1 ball pizza dough (recipe here)
2 cups tomato sauce
Good pinch of red pepper flakes
Good pinch of dried basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 green onion, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
All-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. That might sound higher than the usual 350 you cook things at, but you want the oven to be HOT when cooking a pizza so the magic can happen. If you’re using a pizza stone, place it in the oven now while it heats. If you’re not using a pizza stone, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a small pan, break up the sausage into smaller chunks with a wooden spoon, and cook thoroughly. Add the garlic and cook until softened. Set aside. In the same pan, sauté the spinach until wilted.

Flour a clean flat surface, and roll out the dough. I have trouble transferring the dough to the pizza stone once I add all the toppings, so I cheat a little and add the dough to my pizza stone first then quickly add the toppings following that. When you remove the pizza stone from the oven it’ll be VERY hot, so be careful, and don’t put it on any surfaces that will be affected by the high heat. I usually place mine on top of my gas stove or on a trivet. If you are not using a pizza stone, then place your rolled out dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and add the toppings from there. Start with spreading the tomato sauce, leaving a 1 inch boarder around the edges. Add the crumbled sausage, spinach, green onion, and dollops of ricotta cheese. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the toppings are bubbling. Let cool a few minutes before digging in! I love to top my pizza with Mike’s Hot Honey… it’s amazing and I recommend it on everything!!

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Cauliflower & Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I’ve been so busy lately and haven’t really been able to post anything! I am off to Chile next week for two weeks, but when I get back I plan to jump back in and start cooking up a storm again!

I made these stuffed poblano peppers recently and absolutely loved them. I bought the peppers knowing I wanted to make something with them, then sort of came up with this recipe after seeing what I had in the fridge that night. Sometimes the best recipes come out of already existing ingredients around the kitchen. I charred the peppers over my gas stove, then stuffed them with a spicy cauliflower “rice” and chicken mixture. And cheese of course, because what would any meal be without cheese? This is an easy recipe that I will definitely be making again!

Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
3 large poblano peppers
1 large chicken breast
6-7 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
2 small green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, minced
3 cups cauliflower rice (I buy frozen at Whole Foods, though you can make your own too!)
1 can stewed diced tomatoes
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.

Start by charring the peppers. Cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out the seeds. I cooked mine over the gas stove, turning occasionally until each side have bits of char on them. Set aside to cool. I sliced one side part way open to make it easier to fill the peppers.

Next, salt and pepper the chicken well, then sauté in a little olive oil until cooked thoroughly. Let cool, then shred the chicken. I like to do this with two forks – one holding the chicken in place and the other to shred. Set aside.

In the same skillet, sauté the garlic and shallot together until translucent. Add the green onion and mushrooms and cook for another minute or so. Add the cauliflower, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Lastly, add the diced tomatoes and the shredded chicken, and simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Mix in the goat cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Stuff each pepper with the mixture, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown and the peppers are softened. Remove from oven and add some additional Parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!