This time of year, I do miss New England. It’s been so many years since I’ve lived there that you’d think I’d be over it. But today, after a run on the beach on a warm, sunny Florida day, I decided to slap some fall flavors on a new pizza.
I really love how this turned out. Squash and sausage are one of those combinations that is unexpectedly amazing. And the hint of cinnamon is just perfect.
Squash and Sausage Pizza with Crispy Sage
- 1 small (~1 1/2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 t sugar
- 1/2 lb bulk sausage, cooked and crumbled
- 8-10 large sage leaves
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 thin, precooked pizza shell (I get mine at a local gourmet shop. They are The Pizza Gourmet, Wood Grilled Pizza crusts, but any crust you like will do)
- 2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
- kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and ground cinnamon
Steam the squash until fork tender (~20-30 minutes). Drain well. Transfer to a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add a pinch salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and sweetness. If your squash is from early in the season, like mine was, add up to 1/2 t sugar to sweeten it up.
In a medium skillet on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sage leaves so they lay flat and fry for a minute, flipping once. Transfer the leaves to a plate lined with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 425F with the pizza stone (if using) on the middle rack. Once the oven is ready, continue to heat the stone in the oven an additional 10 minutes to make sure it is fully heated.
Remove the pizza stone from the oven. Put the pizza crust on the stone. Layer, in order, the squash, sausage, cheese, and sage leaves. Finish with a light dusting of cinnamon. Put the stone with the pizza back in the oven and cook 10-12 minutes until cheese is melty and crust is toasty. Remove from the oven and serve! Yields: 8 slices.