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…

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!!

Brussels Sprout Pizza With Sausage & Red Onion

I woke up early today and couldn’t fall back asleep, so I got out of bed and made some homemade pizza dough. Because that’s what normal people do, right? I made enough so I could freeze a couple of individual batches to use in the future. I had some Brussels sprouts, red onion, and Italian sausage on hand, so I decided to make a white pizza. I used a mixture of mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese… because there’s no such thing as too much cheese. Then I topped it with an egg at the end and BAM! Successful Sunday night dinner for one.


Pizza Dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups water (110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for bowl

Pizza Toppings:
10 Brussels sprouts, leaves peeled
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 Italian sausages, casings removed
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese, for topping
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 eggs

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have the time to make your own dough, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell some pre-made dough that I like. You can also stop into your local pizza shop and they’ll usually sell you a ball of dough for a dollar or two!

To make your own dough, start by placing the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into the bowl of your standing mixer. Start mixing on the lowest speed, and gradually add in the warm water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let mix until the dough comes together into a ball. If it is looking too sticky, you can sprinkle in more flour. Alternatively, if it is looking too dry and flaky you can add a tablespoon of water. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands a little to smooth it out, then form it into a ball and place it in a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let sir for 1 hour, allowing it to double in size. For me, this dough will usually make about 4 pizzas. I kept one out to use, and individually wrapped the others in saran wrap and placed them in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer to use a different day.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone, place it in the oven now. If you’re planning to use a baking sheet, simply cover it with parchment paper. Sauté the sausage in a little olive oil until browned, then set aside. Pour out most of the oil, then cook your onions in the same pan. Also set that aside. Lastly, quickly toss the Brussels sprouts in a little olive oil.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface. For me, I have a tough time getting my pizza onto the pizza stone after i’ve added all the topping, so what I like to do is remove the stone from the oven and quickly add the dough – but be careful because that little sucker is HOT. Moving fast, add the mozzarella slices, dollops of ricotta, crumbled sausage, red onion, and a small drizzle of olive oil. Place in oven and cook for 8-10 mins, or until it’s about 75% cooked. Remove from the oven and add the Brussels sprouts, then put back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes, or until the Brussels have crisped a little, the cheese is bubbling, and the crust/bottom of the pizza is golden brown.

Remove from oven and place on a cutting board to cool for a minute. While it’s cooling cook up 1-2 sunny-side up eggs and place them on top of the pizza, then break the yolks to let them run. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!


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!

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!

Brussels Sprout & Leek Cast Iron Pizza

Guys. Making a pizza in a cast iron skillet is amazing. I’ve never done it before and absolutely loved it. And the best part is that the whole thing takes about 3-4 minutes to cook! Normally I like a thin pizza, but there’s something about this pillowly crust that is heavenly. I didn’t even make it to the table, or to a chair for that matter, I ate half of it just standing in my kitchen like a PRO!

Pizza dough (you only need half)
1 cup Brussels sprouts, trimmed and washed
1/2 leek, trimmed and washed
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
Smoked mozzarella, sliced
Soppressata, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Honey, for topping (optional)

I purchased my dough from Whole Foods, as I was feeling lazy, but you can make your own if you like! I simply cut the ball in half and froze the other half for future pizza making.

To start, saute the garlic, leeks, and Brussels sprouts in a little olive oil until the greens have softened a bit. Salt and pepper to taste then set aside. Next, heat the cast iron pan on your stovetop over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Get your broiler going in the oven. Roll your dough out on a floured surface, making it about the size of your skillet. Have your toppings ready and on stand by, because once you place that dough in the skillet you need to add those toppings fast! Gently place your dough into the hot pan. It might not come out perfect, but that is OK. Top with the mozzarella, veggie mixture, and soppressata. Turn off the burner, and place the pan directly into the oven underneath the broiler. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, rotating the pan occasionally, until the crust is bubbling and has a nice golden color with few burnt bits. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before eating.

Serve with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of honey! I used Mikes Hot Honey which I LOVE and totally recommend. You could probably make your own version by mixing in some cayenne pepper with your regular honey if you like. ENJOY!

Okra & Tomato Pizza + Beet Sausage & Onion Pizza

Last night I gathered all my items from this weeks CSA bag and headed to my friends house. We decided to make a few pizzas to have with our bottle bottles of wine. The first pizza had more of a southern style, with okra, shallots, and fresh heirloom tomatoes. The other pizza was made with these AMAZING beet and pork sausages that Meghan got from The Meat Hook. The sausage was so good we decided to just add some onions and cheese and let it shine on its own. Both came out amazing! To save us time, I bought the dough from a local pizza shop in the neighborhood for a few bucks. Thanks Meghan and Daniel for having me over for the 700th time this year!


Okra Pizza:
1 small pizza dough
Tomato sauce
6 large okra, chopped 1/4 inch thick
2-3 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot
1 large garlic clove, chopped
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh Parmesan cheese, for serving

Sausage Pizza:
1 large beet sausage (available here)
8 oz fresh ricotta
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
4-5 small fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat the over to 425 degrees.

Start by rolling out the dough on a floured surface. I used one large ball of dough and split it in half, as I like my crust on the thinner side. Place on two lightly floured baking sheets and set aside.

To make the okra pizza, simply cover the bottom with about 1/4 cup tomato sauce, then layer with sliced mozzarella, fresh tomato, okra, garlic and shallots.

For the sausage pizza, start by cooking the onion and garlic together in a large pan until the onion is a bit translucent, then crumble in the sausage and cook thoroughly. Set mixture aside and cook the potatoes in the same pan until slightly golden on each side. Spread a good amount of ricotta cheese on the dough, followed by some fresh mozzarella. Top with the sausage mixture and sliced potatoes.

Cook both pizzas for about 15-20 minutes or until the dough begins to crisp and the top is bubbling (and your mouth is watering.) If you used a larger ball of dough for each, you may need to cook a few minutes longer. Sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper, then slice and serve with some grated Parmesan cheese on the side. Bon appétit!

Broccoli & Potato Pizza

I’ve never made a pizza that I didn’t like, they’re fail proof! When I have the extra time I make my own dough, but for the most part I buy it at Trader Joe’s or at my local pizza place for a few bucks. The important thing is the oven temp. I like a thin pizza and cook it on the pizza stone, so I usually do it at 400 or so. But some people crank it to 425 or higher. Once you make your own pizza at home you’ll never order it again!

1 pizza dough
2 garlic cloves
1 mozzarella ball, sliced
4 fingerling potatoes, sliced
1 broccoli head, chopped
1 egg
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the sliced potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn oven up to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out your dough to desired thickness. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or use a pizza stone if you have one.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Next, saute the garlic in some olive oil for about a minute, making sure not to burn it! Brush the dough with the garlic olive oil, then add layers of mozzarella cheese, potato, and broccoli. Cook the pizza for 15 minutes, then remove it from the oven and crack and egg in the center. Place back in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the white is set but the yolk is still runny. Remove from oven and with a fork break the yolk so it runs a bit onto the pizza (the best part!) and serve right away. Enjoy!


Kale & Butternut Squash Pizza With Ricotta

Pizza is one of my favorite things to make- the toppings are endless! And there’s something special about pulling a homemade pizza out of the oven. For me, it’s important to get the crust nice and thin, otherwise you feel like you’re eating a loaf of bread with stuff on top of it. Sometimes when I am feeling ambitious I will make my own pizza dough, but on a weeknight after work I tend to just grab a ball of dough from the grocery store, or better yet, I buy some at my local pizza place for a few bucks. Once you make your own pizza you’ll never go back to the boring stuff!

1 small bunch kale, roughly chopped
1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed small
1/2 small red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloved, minced
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (plus more for topping)
Parmesan cheese, for topping
4-5 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pizza dough, enough for (1) pizza
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Next, add some olive oil to a pan and saute the garlic and onions until translucent. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough. Place on a floured baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Spread the ricotta cheese all over the pizza, then add the kale mixture and the butternut squash. Top with some more ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes or until crust is golden. In the meantime mix together the honey and paprika. Let cool for a few minutes then drizzle the spiced honey over the top of the pizza. Alternatively, you can leave on the honey on table for guests to drizzle themselves!


Garlic Scape & Dandelion Green Pizza With Sweet Sausage

I know I make a lot of pizzas, but I am forever curious about the different kind of funky ones I can make- and 99% of the time they taste awesome, which is a pretty high percentage in pizza land. This week I got garlic scapes which I have anxiously been waiting, as well as some dandelion greens which happen to be one of my favorite greens lately…they’re so great just simply sautéed. Anyway, I went over to my friend Meghan’s house and cooked us a pizza while we drank a very large bottle of wine. Overall a great night with some great local ingredients!

1 small bunch dandelion greens, thick stems partially trimmed
3 garlic scapes
1 medium mozzarella ball
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 fresh pizza dough
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 385 degrees. Start roasting the garlic scapes in the oven with a little olive oil for about 10 minutes or until soft, but be careful not to burn them. While those cook, sauté the dandelion greens in a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Set all the veggies aside once cooked. Next, brown the sausage and break it up well into crumbles. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a large circle (or two circles if you have smaller pans like we did) To make the pizza, place the rolled dough on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Spread the mozzarella and ricotta all over the bottom, then top with dandelion greens, garlic scapes, and sausage. Cook for 20 minutes or until the bottom is golden and the toppings are melted and bubbling. Top with some fresh cracked pepper and a large bottle of wine!

Kale Pesto Pizza With Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

I make pizza at home a lot, but I have never tried adding beets before! It wasn’t what I expected, and I loved it. I think it especially tasted great with the kale pesto and goat cheese. I had also never used whole wheat dough before, and was actually a pretty big fan! It added a nice flavor that complimented the rest of the ingredients. Overall a pretty delicious (and healthier than usual) pizza!

Ingredients- (Adapted from A Passionate Plate)

Kale Pesto:
1 small bunch of kale
3 garlic cloves, roasted
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Whole wheat pizza dough
4 small beets, roasted and sliced
2 small Yukon potatoes, sliced
Goat cheese
Small handful pine nuts, toasted
Olive oil, for drizzle

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice beets in half and place in an aluminum foil “pouch” with the garlic and drizzle with some olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes in the oven or until the beets can easily be pierced with a knife. I used small candied beets so they cooked faster than say a regular size beet which could take 40 minutes or so. While those cook, thinly slice the potato and simultaneously cook those in the oven for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned. In the meantime, de-stem the kale and blanch it for 30 seconds in boiling water, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Squeeze out the excess water and place in a food processor with the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, lemon juice, and roasted garlic from the oven. Blend until you have a pesto consistency, then salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface. Spread some of the kale pesto, then top with the roasted potatoes, beets, and goat cheese. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned. Top with some fresh pepper and toasted pine nuts. I also drizzled a little olive oil to finish it off, but this is optional. Enjoy!

Leek, Mustard Greens, and Corn Pizza

I could probably eat homemade pizza every night. It might sound sort of intimidating to make, but it seriously could not be easier! Especially if you buy pre-made dough at the supermarket, or at your local pizza place for a buck or two, which is what I love to do because it’s super fresh.

1 ball of pizza dough
1 large leek
2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
3 cups mustard greens, cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small can of tomato sauce
3 ounces St. Andre cheese
All-purpose flour
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. To trim the leeks, cut it where the light part meets the dark part, then toss the dark stuff. Cut them lengthwise then run the leeks under the water to remove any dirt. They can be pretty dirty sometimes so really make sure to rinse them well. Cut them crosswise in 1/4 inch slices. Next, remove the stems of the mustard greens and layer the leaves on top one another, roll them up together then slice 1/2 inch ribbons. Lastly, cut the corn off the cob.

Add some olive oil to a pan and saute the garlic for a minute. Add the leeks and cook for about 7 minutes until slightly browned. Next add the mustard greens and cook about 4 minutes until wilted, then toss in the corn, salt and pepper to taste, and cook everything together for another 10 minutes. While that is cooking, roll out your pizza dough. Make sure to flour the surface and rolling pin, and continue to sprinkle the dough with flour as you go. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Add the toppings to the dough starting with the tomato sauce, then the leek mixture, and lastly the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until everything is golden! Let cool for a few minutes before cutting.