Okay, in full disclosure, this pizza elicited more teen jokes than any other meal I’ve prepared. Trying to by “artsy,” I made a flower design with the sage leaves. My daughter thought it looked like a marijuana leaf. I’m always glad to be the source of amusement. And really, no more trips to Spencer’s Novelty Shop.
This pizza is super tasty and full of fall flavor. It involves no illegal substances, although pumpkin is so addictive this time of year, it probably should require a driver’s license to purchase. We used a spicy chicken sausage, but I think an Italian sausage or sage sausage would be pretty terrific as well. Or even soyrizo if you are going meatless. I replaced our usual mozzarella with a blend of Swiss and Gruyère cheese–I think those cheeses taste great with the sage and pumpkin (and they melt beautifully).
I used organic canned pumpkin for this recipe because it is already cooked and it is very thick with little residual moisture. If you use fresh pumpkin, make sure you cook it down to a very thick paste or your pizza dough will be quite soggy (I made that mistake with butternut squash once and it was not good).
Pumpkin, Sausage and Sage Pizza (makes 1 pizza)
- 1 whole wheat pizza crust (recipe HERE)
- 8-10 fresh, organic sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. local, spicy link sausage, casing removed
- 1 organic yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
- 2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 2 cups grated Swiss and Gruyère cheeses
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil to medium high.
- When oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them for about 90 seconds per side or until they are crispy, but not browned. Remove sage leaves to a paper towel to drain.
- Add the sausage to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the sausage until no longer pink, breaking up any large clumps with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove the sausage from the pan to a colander or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Add onion and garlic to the pan with the drippings and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and starts to caramelize a bit. Remove the onion and garlic to a small bowl.
- Assemble the pizza by stretching the dough (my pizzas are never round–more like rounded rectangles) onto a flour dusted baking sheet or pizza stone.
- Top the dough with the pumpkin, spreading it across the dough, leaving a 1-2″ crust around the edges.
- Sprinkle the onions and garlic over the pumpkin.
- Crumble up 2-3 sage leaves and sprinkle them over the onions.
- Top the onions with the crumbled and drained sausage.
- Cover the whole thing with cheese.
- Arrange the remaining sage leaves into a flower that will be completely misinterpreted by your family.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is just browned and bubbly.
- Cut the pizza and serve immediately.