Homemade Sausage, Mushroom, and Tomato Pan Pizza
I start with my baby bella mushrooms.
I set the meat aside, reserving the fats…
So here are my toppings: my sausage is browned, my mushrooms are flash sauteed, and my tomatoes have been cored, sliced, and salted (which sweetens them, and helps them bleed — allowing their juices to run off, which will result in a toastier pizza crust). They’re ready to go, so I set them aside while I prep my crust.
Using my hands, I stretch my dough into a rough oval shape. See all those bubbles at the edge? I brought my dough out of the fridge too early, setting it on the counter to take my set-up shot, and then forgetting to return it to the cold until I needed it. This reactivated the rising yeast — the warmth — which results in these bubbles you have to pound out. Popped blackened crispy bubbles on the crust of boutique pizzas mean they were stretched way too long ago, by a lazy pizza cook rolling his dough out well before it’s needed. Just FYI. So I pound out these bubbles…
Then take my rolling pin to this *very* elastic dough…
Until I have it thinned out (whoops — and torn in one place!) to about the size and shape of my cookie sheet.
The next steps go very quickly – so I’ve opened up my packages of cheese (my ricotta and my fresh mozzarella), set my parm close to my hand grater, and have that along with my sausage, tomatoes, and mushrooms at the ready. I pull my pan(s) out of the oven, and they are VERY hot; I douse them with several healthy glugs of EVOO, spreading it with a pastry brush.
I quickly move my stretched out dough to the pan, fitting it in as best as I can.
I layer my tomatoes first, then my sausage and mushrooms.
Finally, I dot some ricotta cheese, about a dozen ciliegine, and some freshly grated parm over the whole pan. This goes into my hot oven, on the top rack, for 15-20 minutes.
At the last moment, these get doused with my butter, which I’ve melted, and my garlic, which I’ve minced and lightly sweated in said melted butter. Then I grate some more parm on top, and toss this whole mess in a nice bowl until my knots are glistening with fat and stuck all over with gooey white cheese.
At the last moment, I dress some baby herb greens with EVOO, salt, and pepper, which I serve alongside my homemade (‘cept for the crust, which is for another day — and another kitchen) pizza. Savory sausage, earthy mushrooms, hot tomatoes, stringy and fluffy cheeses, served on top of a chewy crispy crust, with salad and garlic knots. I could have had some simulacrum of this delivered to me — made with a heavy tomato sauce, way too much processed cheese and low-grade meat — for about the same price, but at what cost? My hubby and my tummy thanked me for this marvelous meal – and the satisfaction of falling in love with pizza again was just an added bonus.