I think most peoples’ moms had a few signature recipes that they made when they were growing up. In the case of my family, we definitely had our share of Pizza/Fast Food Fridays, or Stouffer’s lasagna or packaged pasta nights (OK, lest you all think my mom is a bad Italian, I must mention that she actually always makes her own pasta sauce. Always.). But 2-3 nights per week, the meal that my mom would have us sit around the table for was all homemade.
Some meals she had in her rotation included awesome Italian stuff (usually stuffed shells), our favorite chicken and rice casserole (chicken cooked with cream of mushroom soup over rice ERMAHGERD), and something she still makes to this day: sausage and peppers.
Sausage and peppers is actually a pretty classic combo. It’s great on its own: saute up a couple of sausage links with some onions and pepper strips, and serve with some rice pilaf! Boom, done. You could also put ’em on a sandwich roll with some provolone or swiss, and boom. Sandwich.
When I won a giveaway at Lauren’s Latest for a free Al Fresco sausage voucher, my mind raced with all the fancy recipes I could make. Jambalaya! Gumbo! But with all the flavors that Al Fresco offers, I wanted the sausage to shine. When I finally found some Al Fresco at my parent’s nearby Nugget Market, I realized that they only had the pre-cooked kind, which limited my options a bit. I picked up a pack of their Sweet Italian sausage with red & green peppers, and when I got a half day on Friday I decided to use my extra time… to make a pizza!
For anyone who thinks it’s hard to make pizza (dough and all) from scratch, I’m here to tell you that I literally did it one-handed. Even with a broken hand, making pizza is really not too difficult if you have the time!
Feed the yeast, let it foam.
Roll it into a ball, then let it rise as the gluten expands.
Voila. Easy peasy, and takes about 1.5 hours total!
I added fennel seed (to enhance the sausage flavor) and a bit of basil and oregano to fancy up some store-bought tomato sauce.
Did I mention I made two pizzas with a broken hand? Seriously! Not that hard! And soo worth it:
Try it yourself:
Sausage & Pepper Pizza
makes 1 Pizza
Prepare pizza dough. I usually reverse the amount of all purpose and whole wheat flour, and have had the best results when I follow the recipe directions exactly and add dry ingredients to the yeast water (and not the opposite).
While dough is rising, prepare your ingredients. Cut sausage links into medallion-sized pieces and saute to render out some of the fat (there isn’t all that much in these pretty low fat sausages!). I also caramelized half of my onions before adding them to the pizza.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll (or stretch) the dough into a large circle. Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza pan or baking stone before you transfer the dough. Once it’s on, spread a thin layer of sauce and coat with half of the grated cheese. Next, add sausage, followed by peppers and onions. Top with the rest of your cheese and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is slightly browned and the cheese is melted but not yet burnt.
Once you remove it from the oven, let sit to cool (and take pictures). Then slice it up and dig in!