So have you ever wondered where those sausage nubbins that sit atop take-out pizza come from? I actually do.
You know what I’m talking about. Those gray nuggets that look like they were extruded from some kind of machine. I researched this on the internet and apparently nobody but me is bothered by the appearance or the taste of these things. Heath knows about this hang-up. But for that very reason I resisted sausage pizza until I started to make my own. Oh! Actual sausage that you brown well and then put on the pizza. Yes, my porky friend, now I recognize you instantly.
I have not had store-bought or chain pizza since the Publix came to town, with its adorable bakery section stocked with pizza dough. Actually, that’ s not true. I still eat pizza at Sam’s because how can you resist a huge slice of pizza for $1.50? But I still don’t get the kind with sausage on it there. Same nubbins. Nubbins from Never Never Land.
But I digress. You can use any kind of sausage you like on this pizza. I love sage sausage, but hot or mild or Italian would work just as well. Chorizo is another one of my favorites to put on a pizza. One of the joys of making it yourself is that you can pick everything – cheese, meats, veggies – exactly to your liking.
And, people, I have told you before that if you’re going to make pizza at home you need a pizza stone. A good one will run you around $40 and you’ll use it over and over and wonder how you ever got along without it.
sage sausage and mushroom pizza
1/2 pound bulk sage sausage
8 ounces mushrooms
1 bag pizza dough
Jarred spaghetti sauce (or your choice of pizza sauce)
2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
Preheat oven to 550 degrees or as hot as your oven will go with the pizza stone in the oven.
Saute the sausage in a large skillet, breaking up the sausage until it is well browned. Reserve.
Add the mushrooms to the remaining sausage grease and saute until browned. Reserve.
Roll out the pizza dough on a floured board to about 1/8 inch. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce almost to the edges. Top with the cheese, sausage, mushrooms, peppers and onion (yes, raw – by the time the pizza is done they’ll be cooked I promise you).
Sprinkle the pizza stone with cornmeal and slice the pizza on top. Bake for about 7-8 minutes, checking frequently, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
Serves 1. Just kidding. Makes 8 slices. You decide what a serving is.