Thursday March 11, 2010

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What to do on a Thursday night?  I don’t know about you, but by this time – four days in and one to go, I’m pooped.  However, I still want to savor something delicious at the end of the day without having to go out because most likely, I will be on the go doing what I love to do during the upcoming weekend.  Thursdays have always been my day that I savor staying home after work, watching some of my favorite shows and snuggling into bed with a good book. (If you want to see more reasons as to why I love my Thursdays, read one of my past posts titled Treasured Thursdays.)
Probably wouldn’t want to eat on this beautiful, cozy chaise, but snuggling up with either a good book or to watch a terrific comedy sounds ideal.  -courtesy of Cote de Texas

During the first year of Rachael Ray‘s new television show, one of her first recipes was something she created in honor of Oprah, who had helped produce her show.  She titled the recipe Pizz-O. While I’m a fan of pizza, I tend to always want to try new recipes that spruce up the same old flavors so many of us are used to, and this particular recipe seemed like it would do the trick.

Well, it didn’t disappoint.  The only hiccup I had to navigate due to living in a small town was where to find ready-made pizza dough.  I quickly found a solution – Papa Murphy’s.  I simply called them up, ordered a large pizza with only mozzarella and no sauce, and with that one phone call, I had taken care of two of my ingredients.

This is a hardy pizza due to the many layers it entails, but the flavors will impress you – proscuitto, pesto, red peppers, Italian sausage.  I have made it a handful of times, and each time (if the instructions are followed), a tasteful meal ensues.  To dress it up a bit, I pour myself a glass of wine.  Recently, I paired it with a glass of Walla Walla Vintner‘s Merlot, and it made for a perfect meal on a laid back evening.

One thing that I have found that helps finish the crust, especially the bottom, is to use the cornmeal that is suggested in the recipe.  I only had to learn that once and I have never since made that mistake again.

So if you’re not sure what to make tonight or any upcoming stay-at-home evening, give this recipe a try.  Your family’s appetite will no doubt be satiated, and you can say you taught them how to eat red peppers and proscuitto all in one bite.  Here’s hoping your Thursday moves along smoothly into Friday.  Cheers!

(Before the oven has its way with it.)



  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
  • 1/4 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage, about 2 links, casings removed
  • 1/4 pound bulk hot Italian sausage, about 2 links, casings removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped into chunky pieces
  • 2 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, room temperature for easy spreading
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 4-5 sprigs, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided in half
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh store-bought pesto or homemade arugula pesto
  • 1 cup grated scamorza or smoked mozzarella
  • 1 fresh pizza dough, from your favorite pizza joint
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • Cornmeal, to sprinkle on the pizza pan

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Heat a skillet with one turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add both the sweet and hot Italian sausage, breaking it up into little pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook about 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. Add the garlic and mushrooms.

Once the mushrooms have wilted and turned deep brown in color, stir in the roasted red peppers. Set aside until it is time to assemble the pizza.

In a bowl combine the ricotta, lemon zest, thyme, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Reserve.

To assemble the pizza, sprinkle a round pizza pan with cornmeal. This will keep your pizza from sticking when it is cooking and help it slide off the pan when it is done. Roll out the pizza dough in a circle (don’t worry if it isn’t perfect, it should look rustic), then roll it up around the rolling pin and transfer to the pizza pan. Spread the pesto out across the rolled-out dough, using the back of a spoon to get it everywhere. Top the pesto with the sliced prosciutto, then spread the ricotta mixture over it and sprinkle with some Parmigiano.
Add the reserved sausage mixture to the center, leaving about a 11/2-inch border around the pie. Top the sausage with the scamorza and fold the topping-free edge over until it meets the sausage. Keep the pizza round by pleating the edge as you work your way around the pie.
Brush crust with some EVOO for a beautiful golden brown color. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and enjoy! DELISH!

9 thoughts on “Delish!

  1. If only I could cook! Every recipe I attempt to make turns out disastrous. But, maybe I’ll give this recipe a shot– it looks like a dish my boyfriend would love.
    XO fallon

  2. Thank you so much for this lovely recipe it turned out so well. Great job. It looks yummy. And sweetie I love coming to your blog for a slice of luxurious. I’m so glad I found you!

  3. This looks so delicious!! Have you ever tried making your own pizza dough? It couldn’t be easier, yeast, flour, water, salt..leave it rise overnight; punch it down in the am; it’s risen again and ready to go for dinner. Also, it can last in the refrigerator for a day or two. There are lots of recipes on line I’m sure.

    Sounds like a lovely Thursday. Have a splendid weekend! Emily

  4. Your pizza looks delicious. And thanks for the cornmeal tip — I have been making homemade pizza this year, and love it, but sometimes my crust has turned out soggy. Must make sure to use cornmeal from now on 🙂

  5. I recently discovered your blog, and this was a perfect post to settle in with as I settle in myself, tonight, relaxing at home on a Thursday night with a pot of Earl Grey Tea. Your writing style and subjects really appeal to me and I look forward to reading more. Hope you enjoyed your pizza (this one I enjoyed vicariously through you).

  6. The couch pic completely epitomises the title of your blog, love it. Hehe, it actually reminds me of that bit in Sex and the City when Harry walks around Charlotte’s house naked, and sits on the white couch, and Charlotte loses it.
    Mmmm those pizzas.

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