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Pizza, per favore!

Posted: February 29, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 29, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Classic pizza margherita Classic pizza margherita
Classic pizza margherita

Forget about delivery pizza — make your own fresh and flavorful creations for a fantastic family pizza night sure to bring everyone together at the table.

These recipes use ingredients that let you put your own tasty and creative spin on classic favorites — fresh herbs; a blend of rich Italian cheeses; and high-quality, flavorful Johnsonville Italian sausage, available in mild, sweet or hot varieties.

Whether it’s putting a twist on the classic “Pizza Margherita,” spicing things up with “Sausage Diavolo Pizza,” or serving a “Morning Terrace Pizza” for dinner, pizza night just got a whole lot tastier.

For more ways to do pizza night right, visit

Classic pizza margherita
Serves 4 to 6
1     package refrigerated pizza dough
1/4    cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1     package Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage
1/2     medium red onion, minced
1     tablespoon parsley, minced
1     tablespoon garlic, minced
1     tablespoon oregano
8     Roma tomatoes, sliced (divided — save 10 slices
    for the top)
10     fresh basil leaves (divided)
2    cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1     cup fontina cheese, shredded
    Pepper and sea salt
1/2     cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Position oven rack on lowest shelf and preheat to 425°F. Lightly oil a pizza pan. Roll out dough as thin as possible. Let rest
10 minutes.
In small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high,
add sausage and cook until browned. Remove from skillet,
cool slightly and coin slice. In the same pan, sauté onion and parsley to golden, then stir in garlic and oregano for a few seconds. Add tomatoes to pan, crushing them as they are
mixed (do not substitute crushed tomatoes). Boil, stirring 5 minutes or until thick.
Spread sauce over crust, sprinkle with half the basil, moz­zarella, fontina, sausage, remaining slices of tomatoes and finally remaining olive oil. Finish with generous pepper and
a little sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes.
Using a spatula and an oven mitt, slip pizza off pan directly onto oven rack, bake for two minutes. Slip pizza back onto pan, remove from oven. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remain­ing fresh basil. Cut and enjoy.

Morning terrace pizza
Serves 4
1     10- to 12-inch baguette, cut in two and sliced open, inside dough removed
1     package Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage
1 1/2     cups fontina, mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
    Dried red pepper flakes
3    Roma tomatoes, diced
4     whole eggs
    Pepper, to taste
1/3     cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2     tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Position oven rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut baguette in half and then slice it open to create four equal open-faced pieces. Remove the doughy center, leaving a half-inch border close to the edge.
In large skillet, sauté sausage until browned. Remove from heat, thinly coin slice and set aside.
Top baguettes evenly with 3/4 of shredded cheese. Shake
on red pepper flakes to taste. Place sausage pieces evenly on top around the edges. Add the rest of the cheese and the diced tomatoes. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes and remove from oven.
Using the back of a spoon, lightly make 4 indentations in the center of the baguettes, not too close to the crust, pushing some of the ingredients to the sides. Carefully crack an egg into each depression. Grind pepper on each egg, and top with Parmesan cheese.
Return to oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until egg whites are set, but yolk is still soft. Remove, sprinkle with fresh chives, cut and enjoy.

Sausage diavolo pizza
Serves 4 to 6
    1     refrigerated pizza dough crust,
            rolled out thin
    1     tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1     package Johnsonville Hot Italian
            Sausage Links
    3/4     teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
    5     cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
    3/4     cup onion, chopped
    12     cherry tomatoes, halved
    1     can crushed tomatoes (14 ounces)
    1 1/2     cups dry white wine
    1/2     teaspoon oregano, dried
        Sea salt and pepper
    3     tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
    1     cup Italian blend cheese, grated
    1     cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    1     long, sweet red pepper, cut into rings
        Other fresh herbs such as basil (optional)

Position oven rack to center and preheat to 450°F. Lightly oil a pizza pan and roll out crust, thin.
In large skillet, heat oil and sauté sausage and red pepper flakes until browned. Remove from heat, drain fat, cool slightly and chop, roughly.
Add garlic and onion to skillet and cook about five minutes until onion is soft.
Add cherry tomatoes, canned tomatoes, wine and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer about 20 minutes, stirring when neces­sary, until cherry tomatoes are soft and sauce thickens.
Add parsley and sausage back into skillet. Remove from heat.
Top pizza crust with sausage mixture, grated cheeses and red pepper rings. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh herbs, cut and enjoy.


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