My husband loves pizza. I mean, LOVES pizza. However, I don’t make it very frequently simply because those brick and fire ovens do such a better job on the crust. But, remember last week when I made chili? I tend to build my menus based on shared ingredients. This way, produce and ingredients I don’t use every day are maximized. I needed 1/2 lb. of sausage for the chili, so I browned the whole package and then stored the remaining 1/2 lb. until we were ready for pizza night. Alternatively, we could have had biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast. Get my drift?
Also, I rarely make my own pizza dough. It’s not that I don’t make bread. I do! In fact, I make some amazing caramel rolls, yeast rolls, banana bread and more. It’s just that the grocery store bakery will make the fresh dough for you and on a busy week night, it just makes life easier. In our community, you can find bags of dough at Rosauer’s or Safeway. During harvest season, I make pints of universal tomato sauce from my garden tomatoes and freeze for use throughout the year. However, I’ve never had enough tomatoes to last for a whole year’s worth of spaghetti, lasagna, and pizza. So, when necessary, I buy a good sauce to go with my store bought dough. Yep, it’s all about shortcuts and a little planning ahead!
Pepperoni, Sausage & Mushroom Pizza
1 package fresh pizza dough
1 package pepperoni
1/2 lb. ground sausage, browned
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 green, red or yellow pepper, diced (optional)
1 minced garlic clove (optional)
1-2 tsp. seasonings (your choice, today I used the Bruschetta Dried Herb Blend)
6-8 oz. pizza sauce (we like Paesana New York’s Classic Pizza Sauce in 8.5 oz jars)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Roll your pizza dough on a floured pizza stone. Evenly spread the pizza sauce over the dough.
In a skillet, saute the onion and seasoning in a tablespoon of olive oil until lightly browned, almost caramelized. I use the caramelized garlic olive oil in so many recipes and it’s perfect here too. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until softened. If you’re up for it, add green or red pepper and a minced garlic clove. Next, stir in the browned sausage until hot. Drain on a paper towel covered plate and immediately layer over the spaghetti sauce. Top with as many pepperoni slices as you desire. This is my husband’s favorite ingredient and since he helped with assembly that night, the pizza had a robust amount of pepperoni. Cover with your favorite shredded mozzarella cheese. In a pinch, you can use cheddar and mozzarella, or whatever you have in the fridge. Remember, this is your pizza. Add the flavors you like and don’t worry about traditional pizza toppings.
Bake in a very hot oven, 425º for at 15-20 minutes. Since I’m still getting to know my new ovens and their convection features, in the last 5 minutes, I turned the convection on and the toppings ended up much more “browned” than normal but it was soooo good and the crust was perfect. Let set a couple minutes after pulling out of the oven before slicing.
Have you bought into the AirFryer trend yet? This is our new favorite way to reheat pizza for lunch the following day, provided you didn’t devour the whole pie last night. Heat the air fryer to 356º, set the timer for about 7 minutes and you have a perfectly hot and crispy slice. Time and temperature may depend on your brand and size of fryer, as well as how many pieces you are heating at once. Enjoy!
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