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Monday Night Pizza – Baby Spinach, Smoked Sausage, Pesto, Roasted Garlic and Mozzarella

There are few kitchen tasks more therapeutic than pizza making.  And no, I’m not going to get all Martha Stewart on you!

I love making my own pizza because, really, the world is your oyster when it comes to selecting flavours.  I spent many a days during my university years stuffing my face with the crazy, often quirky pizza selections from Pie2Square on our beautiful campus of UBC.  And now, many years after I’ve gained (and lost!) those Freshmen 15 pounds from all that pizza gorging, I’ve finally mastered how to make my very own quirky pizzas.

And once you’ve tried this recipe, I’m sure you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t started earlier!  Home-made pizza can be just as simple and effortless as takeout pizza, but with so much heart and soul.

Click here for my basic pizza dough recipe.  I often make a few batches of pizza dough all at once, then roll them into flat discs and store these in the freezer.  A day before you want to make a pizza, stick the dough in the fridge side to let it gently thaw, and you’re ready to rock n’ roll the following day!

What you’ll need (serves 2-4 people depending on greediness):

  • 1 pizza dough (from above recipe)
  • 1cup pesto
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • 200g smoked pork sausage (or any option of your choice)
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • chili flakes (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 200celsius.

Roll out your pizza dough.  By using my recipe above, you will get a pizza base that will easily fill out a baking tray.

Here’s the thing – you can decide how much work you want to put into this.  Of course, I love freshly made pesto from crushed basil, pine nuts and garlic, but the reality is that after a long day at the office, who wants to work the pestle and mortar?  So sometimes I cheat (shhhhhhh!!!) and use a store-bought version instead.

The pesto will provide plenty of seasoning and salt, so there’s no need to add any more.  Plus, the cheese and sausage are savoury as well.

Cut the garlic cloves into wafer thin slivers.  This helps them roast to a golden sweetness, faster.

I like to dust the bottom of the pizza base with cornmeal to stop it from sticking to my pizza tray.

First, smear the pizza base with plenty of pesto, then layer with fresh spinach (3 handfuls will seem a lot but they will shrink down in the oven), add slices of porky sausage, then dust with cheese and garlic slivers.

Slot this in the oven for around 8-10 minutes until cheese and garlic start to turn golden.

Viola!  By now, the spinach has tenderly wilted, the sausages are popping and the cheese is bubbling.  The only thing left is to tuck in!  Sprinkle on chili flakes for that extra sizzle!

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