Sometimes these last two weeks of December feel like one long party. Heck, I think we may have been partying all month this year. Speaking of parties, one of my favorite treats during the holidays is my mom’s pizza. I’m not really sure why we save this for December as it’s good all year ’round, but it probably has something to do with parties and needing to feed a crowd. Traditionally, we have this pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve (along with martinis). A quick dinner means we’ll get to open presents sooner! Pizza and martinis. This pizza is also most excellent the next morning, cold, with a cup of coffee. That’s probably my favorite way to enjoy pizza. I mean, what could be better than pizza and coffee for breakfast, right?
Somewhere between focaccia and pizza, the thick crust gets crisped up in the olive oil and soaks in the flavors of the savory toppings. The kicker here is the sauce–the green onions really pull the whole thing together in a way I can’t explain. I make this in an 18-inch half sheet pan, and this one recipe makes enough pizza for a large crowd (or a small group of really hungry folks). Simple ingredients, big impact. That’s how we roll.
First, let’s start with the sauce. As you can see, I like to chop up the garlic, green onions, and herbs with a mezzaluna in a chopping bowl. You could also give this a quick whirl in a food processor. Once this is all chopped up, add it to a bowl with the remaining sauce ingredients, stir and set aside. This is best made a day ahead so the flavors blend but not absolutely necessary if you’re short on time.
Meanwhile, pour the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle with the yeast package from the roll mix box. Stir.
Pour in the flour mixture from the roll mix box and stir with a fork until dough forms.
Spread a generous amount of olive oil on your pizza/half sheet pan then with your fingers press the dough to the edges so that it completely covers the pan. It helps if you flip the dough over at least once so the dough doesn’t stick so much to your fingers. It’s OK if you have some small gaps–as the dough rises, those will fill in. Let this rise for 30 mins-1 hour. Just as a side note, my sister doesn’t let her dough rise, and the pizza comes out just fine.
While the dough is rising, sauté the sausage, breaking it up into pieces.
Here’s where we depart from the norm. Come to think of it, this whole pizza is probably a departure from the norm. That being said, break up the cheese slices and spread evenly over the dough. Then distribute the sausage and mushroom evenly on top of that.
Next drizzle the sauce evenly over the top of the pizza. Bake in a 450F oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
Let this cool 10 minutes or so before cutting.
Cut into large pieces if serving as your meal, or cut into bite-sized pieces as an appetizer. We serve this every year at our holiday party, and it goes fast!
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp marjoram
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix
- 1¼ cup warm water
- Olive oil
- 1 – 1½ packages Kraft Old English or Sharp Cheddar (the sliced variety)
- 1 lg can sliced mushroom (or bits and pieces)
- 1 package Jimmy Dean sausage, cooked and broken into pieces
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together sauce ingredients, set aside. For best results, make this a few hours in advance (up to overnight) to let the flavors blend.
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Mix yeast package (from roll mix) with warm water in a bowl, stir. Add flour package, stir with a fork until dough forms.
- Grease baker’s half sheet or jelly roll pan (18″ or 19″ pan) with a generous amount of olive oil. Spread out dough by hand to edges of the pan (this will be messy). Sprinkle a little salt on the dough. Let rise.
- Once the dough has risen to your satisfaction, break up pieces of cheese to cover dough. Spread mushrooms and sausage across the pizza.
- Spread sauce over the pizza and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Serves a crowd.
Happy New Year!