"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pizza with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Chicken Sausage and Basil

Pizza is one of those foods that never gets boring. It's also easy to make and fun for a group dinner because your friends can bring their own toppings! As fun as it is to try new pizza combinations, I always prefer the good'ol tomato marinara, cheese and meat combo. This is a slight variation. I think pizza goes best with a fresh salad or it can just jive solo!

Pizza with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Chicken Sausage and Basil
(4 servings) - I say this with a bit of skepticism because I've shared an entire pizza with just one other person!

1 bag fresh pizza dough (Trader Joe's has delicious pizza dough for $0.99! For this pizza I prefer the garlic herb dough, however feel free to use the white dough or the whole wheat).
Tomato Marinara (a Garlic-Herb one is best)
Ricotta Cheese
Olive Oil
1/2 White Onion thinly sliced
3/4 cup button mushrooms thinly sliced
2 Chicken Sausages (I like the ones mixed with herbs)
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Flour for rolling dough and coating pan

1. Preheat oven to 425 and set pizza dough at room temperature for about 15 minutes before rolling.
2. Cut white onion and mushroom into thin, even slices.
3. Using a handful of flour, coat a kitchen counter surface and lightly coat the dough in the flour.
4. Using a rolling pin, (I don't have a rolling pin so I use a large empty wine bottle and it works great!) roll the dough into the shape of your pan. It's important to spend a lot of time rolling and kneading the dough because you want the dough to be even.
5. Lightly coat pizza pan with flour, place dough on pan
6. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil onto a folded paper towel and lightly dab the dough with olive oil.
7. Using a fork, poke holes all over the pizza dough. This will allow it to cook evenly.
8. Place pan in center of oven and pre-cook the dough for about 8 minutes. It should start to bubble.
9.Caramelize onions with olive oil and a splash of pepper until soft but not wilted. They will cook more in the oven with the pizza. Set aside.
10. Saute mushrooms with olive oil, pepper and garlic powder until brown and soft. Set aside
11. Cut sausage into even slices.
12. After removing dough from oven, slather generously with marinara sauce.
13. Add dollops of ricotta all over the pizza
14. Layer on the caramelized onions, followed by the mushrooms.
15. Place the sausage slices evenly around the pizza
16. Place pizza in oven for approximately 12 minutes. Check to make sure cheese has fully melted and the ingredients are sticking together.
17. Remove from oven and immediately place the basil leaves on the pizza. They will cook for a few minutes while the pizza is still hot.

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