Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saturday Night Pizza: Chicken Sausage, Onion & Broccoli Rabe with a Whole Wheat Crust



Yes, my dears, I do realize that naming a post "Saturday Night Pizza" is a bit confusing because today is not Saturday. It's Tuesday. Boo. I miss Saturday and all of its loungy, no work at all, weekend glory. I meant to post this recipe last Saturday but I was really busy doing Saturday activities (for example, napping, watching bad tv, surfing celebrity gossip sites on the internet) which means that I am now posting Saturday Night Pizza on a Boring Workday Tuesday. So be it.

Let's proceed, shall we?

Saturday night is pizza night at my house.  We started making pizza on the weekends a few months ago and we haven't stopped since. We're fortunate to have some deliciously fabulous pizzerias near our house but none of them deliver so that's no good. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT, HARRY? YOU TOO, BARB.   Obviously, I have strong feelings about this. I love Harry's pizza and Barb's pizza but, quite frankly, I am too lazy and cheap to drive across town to pick up a pizza that's going to cost me north of $20 if I get all of my favorite toppings. For that price, I want that baby delivered to my doorstep. Or, for less than that price, I can make a couple of pizzas at home. It's not the same but it's still damn tasty.

Last weekend, we made some whole wheat pizza dough because I had a lot of whole wheat flour leftover from an afternoon of bread making last fall.  I followed Wolfgang Puck's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe.  Skeptics, listen up - whole wheat pizza dough is really quite tasty.  Once you get used to the nutty flavor of a whole wheat crust, regular pizza dough comes across a bit lacking in flavor.  If you don't like whole wheat then by all means sub in regular dough.  And if you don't feel like making the dough then you can pick up some premade dough at the grocery store or the local pizzaria.  Most pizzarias will sell you a pound or two of fresh dough if you call in advance.

Only four more days until Saturday!!

CHICKEN SAUSAGE, ONION & BROCCOLI RABE PIZZA with a WHOLE WHEAT CRUST

one recipe whole wheat pizza dough (enough to make two 12" crusts)
8 ounce can plain tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 links chicken sausage (each about the length of a finger), cooked completely and crumbled
1 1/2 cups cooked and chopped broccoli rabe
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded cheese, any combination of mozzarrella, provolone and parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes until the garlic is very fragrant.  Add the tomato sauce, oregano, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and salt.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Split the dough in half.  Use each half to make a 12 inch crust.  I use a circular cookie sheet but maybe you are lucky and have a real pizza stone. If you only have a rectangular baking sheet then use that.   (Tip: dust each pan with a bit of fine cornmeal to prevent the dough from sticking.)

Spread half of the tomato sauce over each crust.  Spread half of the cheese over each crust.  Top with the chicken sausage, broccoli rabe and onion.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Switch the positions of the baking sheets.  Bake for another 8 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes two pizzas. Serves 6.

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