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!!

Advertisements

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.

Ingredients-

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!

Save

Sausage Sandwich With Onions Peppers & Fennel

I can’t believe I am saying this, but this is the 200th recipe I have posted on The Petite Beet! It feels like just the other day that I decided to start my little blog. Thanks to everyone who has followed me on my cooking journey the past 4 years! If I had known this was my 200th recipe, I would have posted something a little more exciting than a sandwich, but after noticing the mass amounts of peppers and onions I have been hoarding the past two weeks, I decided I needed to do something about it – and what better way to solve that problem then to stuff them all into a roll the same size of my entire body, right?

Also, a big thank you to Nextdoorganics, the wonderful CSA here in NYC where I have been getting my weekly produce from each week. At least 150 of these recipes have been made using their items. You guys are the best!!

Ingredients: (serves 2, or 1 very hungry person)
2 sausages (I used some cheddar pork Bratwurst from Whole Foods)
1 large white onion, cut into slices
1 large green bell pepper, cut into slices
1 large red bell pepper, cut into slices
1 medium fennel bulb, but into slices
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Provolone cheese slices
1 large Italian sandwich roll

Start by cooking up the sausage in a large pan, turning until all sides start to brown. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, saute the onion and fennel in olive oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the peppers, salt and pepper to taste, then continue to cook for about 10 minutes, or until all the veggies are nice and cooked down. Add the sausages back to the pan and cook for a few more minutes.

Cut the roll in half length-wise, but not all the way through. Sometimes I like to hollow out a little of the bread to make more room for the actual filling. Fill with the sausage and pepper mixture and top with provolone cheese. Place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Keep an eye on it though as you don’t want it to burn. Plate and inhale entire sandwich.

Save

Save

Sausage & Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash


There is a restaurant in NYC (Zero Otto Nove) who have this amazing appetizer that I could eat mounds of. It’s very simple – butternut squash, sweet sausage, and Gorgonzola cheese. When I got a big acorn squash in my CSA bag this week, I though I would try to recreate something similar. I roasted the squash and mixed half of it into the sausage mixture, then stuffed put it back into the squash shell and roasted it for a bit. It was delicious and totally reminiscent of my favorite little dish!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 small acorn squash, cut in half & seeds removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
2 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the acorn halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place face down on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside to cool slightly. Next, in a large pan saute the garlic and onion in some olive oil until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Crumble in the sausage and cook until browned. Lastly, toss in the kale and cook until wilted. Remove half of the squash filling and add it into the sausage mixture. Combine well, then add the butter and Gorgonzola cheese. Fill both squash halves with the mixture and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes. You can also broil for a few minutes to crisp the top a little. Serve with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Butternut Squash Lasagna With Sausage & Mizuna

I absolutely love butternut squash lasagna, it’s a nice fresh twist on the usual tomato based lasagna dish. I made this with friends and we almost ate the whole thing! We decided that next time we make it, we’re going to take it a step further and top the lasagna with a little gorgonzola cheese and sage infused butter. Serious business over here!

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
5 large whole garlic cloves
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
4 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cups mizuna (or any leafy greens, I just happen to have mizuna on hand)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 package wide lasagna noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by boiling the butternut squash until fork tender, about 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes toss the garlic in the boiling water as well so that it softens. Strain the squash and garlic, then mash in a bowl with 3/4 cup ricotta, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, nutmeg, sage, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Next, saute the onion until translucent, then add the sausage and cook until browned. Toss in the mizuna (or whatever greens you like!) and cook until wilted.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles per box instructions. I like to add salt and a little olive oil to my boiling water so that the noodles don’t get stuck together. To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the squash mixture on the bottom of a baking dish, followed by one layer of lasagna noodles, then a layer of the sausage mixture topped with some dollops of ricotta cheese. Add another layer of noodles and repeat – squash, noodles, sausage, ricotta, noodles. Top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan. Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Let cook for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

 

 

Summer Squash & Zucchini Lasagna With Sausage

The weather was getting a little cooler this week and I was craving something warm and comforting to help cope with the fact that summer is on its way out. I had some lasagna noodles on hand and decided I’d experiment with that. I couldn’t decide if I wanted a veggies or meat, so I added both! The asparagus was a last minute thing I threw in and it ended up being my favorite part of it. This was a very easy meal to make, perfect for lazy weeknights when you want something good, but not complicated!

Ingredients:
8 lasagna noodles, cooked per instructions (a little al dente is better)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 summer squash, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1/2 white onion, minced
Handful asparagus, chopped small
3 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 15oz ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 cup marinara sauce
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil some water and cook the lasagna noodles per the box instructions. I like to add a little olive oil to the water so the noodles don’t stick together. Do not cook them all the way though, leave them a little al dente as they will continue cooking in the oven.

Add some olive oil to a large skillet and cook the garlic and onion for a few minutes. Next, add the sausage and cook thoroughly, making sure to break it up into small crumbles. In a large mixing bowl, add the ricotta, squash, zucchini, asparagus, Parmesan cheese, and egg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a baking dish, pour a little marinara sauce on the bottom. Add some lasagna noodles to create a layer. Next scoop some of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly. Next add a layer of sausage and onion, followed by a light sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers two more times- noodles, ricotta, sausage, cheese. Top with one more noodle layer and pour the marinara sauce over the top evenly. Sprinkle with a good handful of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in oven for 20 minutes or until bubbling. Remove the foil and cook for another 5 minutes. Let cook for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

 

Minty Pea Orecchiette With Sausage & Artichokes

This was a random weeknight pasta that was created using existing ingredients in my fridge. Sometimes I think the best meals are made that way- by grabbing what you have and experimenting! My mom is really great at opening the fridge and making something out of nothing, so maybe I picked this skill up from her (hi mom!) The whole meal took about 30 minutes and was really great. The pea and mint sauce gave it a fresh Spring taste. I think it would actually be a nice cold pasta salad as well, maybe swapping out the sausage for cherry tomatoes.

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh mint
6 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed)
16 box Orecchiette pasta
2 sweet Italian sausage links, removed from casing
1 can artichokes, quartered
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by making the pea and mint sauce. Add the peas, mint, and Parmesan cheese to a food processor and blend until combined. With the motor running, add the olive oil until smooth. It will be a thicker sauce. Salt and pepper to taste, then set aside. Next, add the pasta to a pot of salted boiling water and cook per the box instructions. At the same time, brown the sausage and artichokes in separate pans. Once the pasta is ready, toss with the pea and mint sauce then add the sausage and artichokes! Top with a little grated cheese.

 

Spaghetti Squash Crusted Quiche With Sausage & Potato

Spaghetti squash can be a lot of fun to cook with, you can really do a lot with it. I’ve had it prepared before with sauce and meatballs as if it were real spaghetti, in soups, and simply tossed with brown butter and Parmesan cheese. Tonight I went in a totally different direction and used it as the “crust” for a quiche. As much as I love the buttery crust that usually accompanies a quiche, the squash was a great alternative and added a lot of nice flavor!

Ingredients: (adapted from PaleOMG)
1 spaghetti squash
2 Italian sausages (I used sweet)
1 potato, thinly sliced
6 eggs, whisked
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Small handful freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Coconut oil, to grease pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half the long way and place face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces through. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Scoop out the seeds and discard, then remove the rest by scraping with a fork. It will be stringy like spaghetti! Mix in the nutmeg and set aside in a bowl. Turn oven down to 350.

Slice the potato and add to a pot of boiling water, cook until tender but don’t over cook! Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, cook for one minute then add the onions stirring until translucent. Next remove the sausage from the casing and add that to the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned.

Grease a pie pan with a little coconut oil (I have coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s that I use for everything!) Add the squash and press down firmly on the bottom and sides of the dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and layer with potato slices. Mix the dried herbs into the eggs with a little salt and pepper, and pour that over the potatoes. Lastly, add the sausage and onion mixture. Place in oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool a little before slicing, serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.

Stuffed Peppers with Sausage and Mushroom

I was excited this week when I got some huge green bell peppers in my CSA bag. I love stuffed peppers and decided right away that was what I was going to make. The only thing I had to purchase was some Italian sausage, but other than that I had everything else! I love when that happens.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
2 large green bell peppers
1/2 large white onion, diced
4 large white button mushrooms, diced
Handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Italian sausage
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Start by cooking the rice per the package instructions and setting the oven to 375 degrees. Chop the tops off the bell peppers and remove all the seeds. Dice up the tops of the pepper and set aside. If the peppers are too round on the bottom to stand up alone, slice a little off to even it out. Next, dice up the onion, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook the onions and peppers until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove and put in a side bowl. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet and add the sausage (which has been removed from its casing) and cook until browned. Add the onion pepper mixture back in along with the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook a minute or so. Sprinkle in some garlic powder, salt and pepper. Lastly, add the rice and Parmesan cheese and mix together. Fill the peppers with the mixture and place in a dish that has been sprayed with olive oil or non-stick spray. Cook for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and add the asiago cheese, then cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted. Enjoy!