Friday, February 27, 2009

When the moon hits your eye a big pizza pie that's amore...
Did you know that song was played in the credits of the award winning Moonstruck in 1987 staring Cher? Well neither did I until a Trivia night with some great friends in the city of pizza, Chicago.

While I'll never be able to toss a crust or slice a deep dish like those pros, I still love to make homemade pizza. In the winter or summer or anytime of the year they just seem to hit the spot. It's a meal my husband and I can have fun planning and making together. Every pie tastes different and each makes great cold leftovers!

Rustic Sausage and Red Onion Pizza

Herb Crust – prep time: 1 hr
1 packet (2 1/4 tbsp) yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp diced sage

Combine yeast, sugar, and water in a large bowl and let sit until the mixture has turned foamy, about 8-10 minutes. Add olive oil, salt, and herbs. Slowly mix in flour until it forms a ball, you may not need to use all of it. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes on a floured surface or until it is no longer sticky. Place in an olive oil lined bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a warm location and let rise for at least 20 minutes.

On a floured surface roll out or hand toss the dough to a large pizza sized circle. When hand tossing it is easier to work slow and work from the inside out to stretch the dough. Place on a pizza stone or tray and fold edges over to create the crust. Let rise another 20-30 minutes.

1 lbs ground sausage or other meat
1 red bell pepper
1/2 red onion
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 lbs spinach, washed and de-stemmed
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup provolone cheese (about 4 slices)

In a pan cook sausage until done, set aside in a large bowl. Slice red onion thinly and place in pan heating till soft with olive oil.

Cut pepper into bite sized squares and heat with onions. Once veggies are slightly soft remove and let sit with sausage.
Cut the spinach up and heat till wilted with a little salt.

Heat tomato sauce till warm in a small pot. Spread the sauce around the pizza crust. Layer sausage, peppers, onions, mozzarella, spinach, and provolone.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until crust is brown and cheese is melted. Let sit 5 minutes and slice.

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