Friday, April 23, 2010

Sausage, Tomato, Arugula Pizza

K.C. and I love pizza, but ever since I was diagnosed with being a Lactard, our pizza days became numbered. Or so we thought..K.C. started making his own pizza dough, mostly because you can't really find a plain pizza crust at the grocery store. We have found one at Central Market in the frozen foods section, which is pretty good, but its not cheap. We found that making our own dough saved us money and it really isn't that complicated. Now, these pizzas that we are making are cheese-less, of course. But, we think they are just as good, all you need is fresh ingredients and a little time. I say time only because the dough has to sit and rise, but you can do this ahead of time and leave it until you are ready to use it. And we usually either make our own tomato sauce or in this case pesto (without cheese, which you would never know).
So, for the dough here is what you need:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well.
In a small bowl combine the water and yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes, to activate the yeast.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour the water and yeast mixture in. Mix with a fork until you can't mix with a fork anymore. Knead dough until smooth about 10 minutes. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil over the dough, set aside in a clean bowl covered with saran wrap until dough doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
When you are ready to make the pizza, on a floured surface, take dough out and cut in half (this is enough for 2 pizzas). Flour a rolling pin and roll out dough until its about 1/4" thick. Place rolled out dough in a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Poke the dough with a fork all over and brush olive oil over the top. Cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with toppings. Spoon pesto on top of the pizza shell, top with sliced tomatoes, cooked sweet Italian sausage, and arugula. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put back in 500 degree oven until crust is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

For the pesto:
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
Put all the above ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Taste and make sure the taste is to your liking, you might need to add more olive oil or salt and pepper.

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