Friday, February 12, 2010


Potatoes and sausage seem like such an obvious pizza-topping combination that I’m surprised I haven’t tried it already. I mean, I’ve got pizzas with potatoes and pesto, potatoes and chicken, potatoes and leeks, potatoes and other root vegetables…I’m a potatoes-on-pizza fiend, apparently. In fact, while I was making this one, A kept asking me, “Are you sure we haven’t had this before? It sounds so familiar.” But believe it or not, it’s new, and it’s tasty, with garlic and shallots and Fontina and Parmesan boosting the flavor of the meat-and-potatoes combo.

The recipe is from Serious Eats’ Meat Lite column, although I’ll admit I went a bit heavier on the meat than the recipe says; I was using my lighter, homemade, precooked sausage, which not only gave me license and desire to be more generous with it but also allowed me to skip a step in the recipe prep, always a good thing. The only difficulty in preparation came in slicing the potatoes sufficiently thin without a mandoline, but that was just a slight annoyance and well worth the effort.

4 small/medium Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 link (about 2.5 ounces) Italian sausage, mild or spicy
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
3 large shallots, peeled and sliced very thin
1 pound pizza dough
4 ounces grated Fontina cheese (about 1¼ cups)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Slice the potatoes ⅛ inch thick (a mandoline is helpful here, but not required).

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from its casing and crumble the meat into the hot pan. Cook the meat about 5 to 7 minutes, breaking it up into smaller bits with a wooden spoon as it browns. (If using precooked sausage such as ’Atsa Spicy Pizza Sausage, skip this step; just add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and cook the garlic and shallots in it..)

4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and shallots to the pan, and saute with the sausage.

5. Stretch the dough out and press it onto a baking sheet. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the dough and then set half of the potato slices in one layer across the dough. Put the other half of the potatoes in the pan with the sausage and cover with a lid or foil. Transfer the dough to the hot oven and bake for 5 minutes.

6. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle half the Fontina over the first layer of potatoes. Spread the sausage, garlic, shallots, and remaining potatoes on top. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rest of the Fontina and the Parmesan. Return the pizza to the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until the cheese is bubbly, the crust is golden, and the potatoes are tender.

Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes
Leftover potential: Good, especially if reheated in the oven

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