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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Homemade Pesto & Potato Pizza

I’ve been eating a lot of pesto lately, it’s just so easy to make and tastes great on so many things. I remembered I had some pizza dough leftover in my freezer, so when I got a ton of basil, arugula, and potatoes in my CSA this week, I knew what I was going to make… pizza. My favorite easy go-to when I want something delicious that doesn’t take too long to make. I didn’t have any nuts on hand so I made a pesto without nuts and actually liked it a lot, didn’t even notice they were missing!

**not the best “final” photos… but I swear it tastes GREAT!

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh arugula
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil, and more as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 golden potatoes, sliced (you want them to be thin enough to cook, but not so thin they burn)
1 pizza dough (I buy mine at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, or I just pick some up from my local pizza place)
1 cup shredded gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, add the arugula, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix until you have the texture of pesto. Set aside. Next, cook the sliced potatoes in a pan with some olive oil until fork tender but still slightly firm.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread on the pesto, followed by the potatoes, then top with the gouda cheese. Cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the toppings are bubbling. Crack some fresh pepper on top and perhaps come red pepper flakes, and dig in!