Pizza night on the weekends is nothing out of the usual in our apartment, in fact it’s become quite a routine. We both really look forward to staying in on a weekend night and letting the pizza dough rise, while kicking back a six-pack from the bar down the street. We’ve become quite good at making our dough from scratch, to the point where buying dough is no longer an option. And we’re getting more adventurous with our toppings, especially after we gave the fig and prosciutto pizza a try.

A few weekends ago the Phillies were in the playoffs for the Pennant. We’d been going out a lot to watch the games, and we decided it would be  a good night to kick back, make a pizza, and watch some baseball.

The process was made all the easier by the addition to a pizza stone that we purchased from Fante’s in the Italian Market. We’ve been saying for months that we really needed to invest in one. In the meantime, we’d been using an upside-down cast iron skillet, which worked well enough, but was quite sloppy. We both shelled out a measly $20 each and purchased a lovely stone, and it made all of the difference.

I wasn’t quite sure where to turn to when it came to recipes. We usually make a Margherita pizza and usually a veggie. I had a few recipes stored up and I decided it was time to channel Martha Stewart. I had a recipe for hazelnut pizza dough, but I couldn’t find any hazelnut meal in the Acme (surprise, surprise), so I settled on a regular dough. I found  a link to a onion, pepper, and mushroom pizza on Martha’s website, and then turned to The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook for one more.

First, I started out with a basic red sauce recipe from the cookbook. This would be used for the mushroom, pepper, and onion pizza, and maybe a Margherita if we decided to go that route. (Spoiler alert: we didn’t.)

Pizza Sauce
from Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 28-ounce can whole Italian peeled plum tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet, and place over medium heat. Using your hands, squeeze the tomatoes in the can to crush them. Add to the warm olive oil, along with the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until the sauce is thick, 40 to 50 minutes.

Pass sauce through a food mill fitted with a medium disk, discard the seeds and let cool.*

*I just put the mixture into a food processor, and it worked out just fine.

 

Next up I settled on a great recipe, also from Martha Stewart Living. Check it out, because it was awesome.

Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Turkey Sausage Pizza
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 medium red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
8 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces turkey sausage
pizza dough
5 ounces goat cheese
1 cup fresh arugula, optional

Heat 2 tablespoons oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic cloves, and cook until they begin to soften, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, and cook until golden brown, stirring often, about 50 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the sausage, and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a cutting board, and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place your pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a pizza peel. Brush with olive oil. Top pizza with a layer of the onion mixture, the sausage, and the goat cheese. Sprinkle with a handful of arugula. Bake until the dough is golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cook slightly. Top with more fresh arugula and goat cheese. Serve hot.

This was all that remained of our pizza by the time I got around to grabbing my camera. It was as delicious as it was beautiful. The rich colors of the red onion and the pop of the arugula were awesome. It was seasonally appropriate and super savory. We scarfed the whole thing down pretty quickly, but I would definitely make it again.

Along with our caramelized onion pizza, we made a pepper, mushroom and onion pizza (with a little sausage thrown in), and an eggplant pizza with mozzarella and fresh basil. The eggplant was leftover dinner from Eggplant Parmesan at the South Philly Taproom the night before. Delectable!

Our pizza stone in action, with some mushroom, pepper, and onion pizza.

 

Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the Phillies lost that night, therefore giving up their chance to win the Pennant. Fortunately for us, we had tons of awesome pizza and some Yards Philadelphia Pale Ales. We did hang our heads in sorrow for the Phils’ loss, but only until our next pizza came out of the oven.

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