Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pesto Pizzas with Sausage and Roasted Tomatoes

Ok, last post about my Halloween gathering cause I am sure you're sick of hearing about it. It was a fun night, I think I have finally recovered. I had a couple balls of pizza dough left from my Daring Bakers challenge from last month and I thought it would be nice to serve my friends some heartier fare than just popcorn and cookies. I put basil pesto on both pizzas and topped one with a spicy chicken sausage, and the other with roasted tomatoes. I rolled out the dough (no more tossing for me!) and got the pizzas pretty thin and I brushed the edges with some olive oil so they browned up nicely. I have a crapload of roasted tomatoes in my freezer, but I had a few fresh tomatoes left so instead of slow roasting them on a low temperature, I did them for a few minutes at a really high temperature. I made a simple basil pesto to go on both pizzas. They were both great, but I was partial to the sausage pizza. I think I was craving meat that day. I like the idea of serving a pizza at a party. Maybe next time, I will have my guests help me come up with toppings.

Pesto Pizzas with Sausage and Roasted Tomatoes

For the pesto:
1 1/2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt

For the pizza:
2 balls pizza dough
Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
Chicken sausage, sliced and cooked through
Shredded Mozzarella
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the pesto:
Add the basil, pine nuts, and garlic to a small food processor. Combine until everything is finely chopped. Slowly stream in the olive oil until the mixture forms a paste. Mix in the cheese, taste and season with salt as needed.

To roast the tomatoes:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and salt and pepper. Rub each side of the tomatoes in the oil and seasonings. Turn each tomato cut side up and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and using tongs, turn the tomatoes over. Roast for another 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes have shrunk and dried out slightly. Allow the tomatoes to cool before topping the pizza.

To make the pizza:
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to desired thinness. Spread a thin layer of pesto on the pizza. Top with mozzarella and the sausages or tomatoes.

Brush the edges of the pizza with olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown.

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Sharon said...

Your pizza is absolutely perfect. I'm sure your friends were thankful for some homemade goodness!

vanillasugarblog said...

Chicken sausage? I have got to try that. I always see them at whole foods and think, hmmm...
Well, your pizza look good, I love rustic pizza, always has the best crust.

Diana said...

I've been toying with the idea of making my own pizza since reading your first post, and this newest one makes me want to do it even more! Looks fantastic! Especially the sausage one!

Heather said...

ahhhh i loooooove sausage. drooooool. this looks so good!! glad to see you're feeling better, too :)

Unknown said...

ummm, is it lunchtime yet?? :)

Dee said...

Pesto on pizza is such a good idea! I have some leftover pizza dough in the freezer so I must keep this in mind. I made a smoked cheese and truffle oil pizzas recently that I loved. My husband and kid prefer the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink version.

Anonymous said...

I had pizza scheduled for Thursday night television. Your photos make me want to splurge Wed. & Thur!!!
Curiously, what is the Exif data for your pix?


Esi said...

Thank you everyone!

Ant- I'm not exactly sure what you're asking about.

Anonymous said...

Looks nice, I've just started making homemade pizza and I've got lots of pine nuts which need to be used, so I'll give this a go. :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love the idea of the chicken sausage on these! They look fantastic.