Monday, January 2, 2012

Butternut Squash Pizza with Spicy Sausage

I got really upset the other day because Whole Foods was selling butternut squash "on sale" for $2.50/lb. I had never bought squash before so I was unaware that I was getting ripped off. Gleefully, I purchased 2 large squash for $12 and then made my way to Trader Joe's because they have the good, cheap wine. Turns out they have the good, cheap butternut squash, too! $2/each... no matter the size. Oh, Whole Foods- you secret grocery tyrant. It's a good thing my pizza turned out so phenomenally delicious, otherwise I'd have to bust a cap in your (insert inappropriate body part here). But that pizza did turn out phenomenally delicious, and it's all thanks to this recipe from Alexandra's Kitchen. I added some spicy chicken sausage because Boyfriend likes meat and I like boyfriend. Enjoy!

1 medium butternut squash
1 package chicken sausage, spicy or sweet
olive oil
kosher salt & fresh grated pepper
2 cloves garlic
fresh ricotta cheese
a few sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
10-15 sage leaves
canola oil for frying

Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Remove the skin. Using a peeler, peel outer skin. [Note: the skin excretes a juice that can irritate the skin, so use gloves or a dish towel if necessary.] Slice the top of the squash about 1/2-inch under the stem to create a flat edge. Repeat with the other end.  Slice squash in half, length-wise, scoop out seeds from the bulb end and discard. Cut the peeled squash crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. If you have one, use a mandolin which saves time and creates uniform pieces, but using a knife works just fine, too.
3. Place the slices of squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste, toss to coat, redistribute onto sheet in one layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
4. Meanwhile, remove casing from the chicken sausage and slice into thin pieces. Toss with a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat until browned.
5. Peel and finely chop the garlic and add it to about 1/4 cup of olive oil. After rolling out a pizza round [see directions above] and placing it on a prepared baking sheet, brush dough with the garlic olive oil. I spooned some of the oil into the center of the dough and evenly spread it over the dough.]
6. Spread a thin layer of fresh ricotta over the garlic oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to taste.  Top with the chicken sausage and baked squash slices, as they should be done by now. Top with grated Parmigiano. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, fry the sage, one leaf at a time. The sage leaves should take no longer than 5 seconds each in hot canola oil to crisp up— the crispy sage adds a really nice flavor.
8. Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the crispy sage. Enjoy!

Via Alexandra's Kitchen

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