Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sausage, basil & gorgonzola pizza

Ever had something really good at a restaurant and felt like you would just die without the recipe?! I'm still trying to find the perfect re-creation of P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps and don't even get me started on California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chicken Salad - something so simple looking is deceivingly hard to make!

Carissa made a pizza a year or so ago using one of Giada de Laurtentiis' recipes. I know it was on pizza crust with no sauce and used caramelized onions, sausage, gorgonzola (I think), and fresh basil. I'm not one to look us recipes unless I'm baking something and need exact measurements...and even then I don't always measure (honestly, does anyone measure vanilla?!). So I figured I would try to re-create that pizza.

I made a few adjustments, the first being that I used ciabatta bread instead of pizza crust. To be honest this is a shortcut I use often because I don't have time after work to make any kind of yeast bread and it cuts out a whole step just to use bread. I know I've said this before but ciabatta bread is my favorite for savory meals like this. It's my go-to bread of paninis and pizzas and open-faced sandwiches.

The best part about this recipe is you really can add more or less depending on your liking. I omitted the gorgonzola from the second half of the pizza because I knew my kids wouldn't care for it. I also added extra onion to the end, knowing that I would eat that part. I love me some caramelized onion!

How to cut fresh basil:

Stack your basil leaves on top of each other, making sure to remove the stem.

Roll up (they say like a cigarette, but not having ever done that.....)

Chop thinly down the roll.

And ta-da! Thinly sliced ("julienned") basil!

Sausage, Basil & Gorgonzola Pizza
by Girls in Aprons, inspired by Giada de Laurentiis

1 loaf ciabatta bread, found in the bakery
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 lb sausage (I used basic breakfast sausage)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
2 cups mozzerella cheese, shredded
1/4 Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut ciabatta bread open in half. Place on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until just starting to get crusty. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil in saute pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and salt and cook until onions are soft and lightly brown, about 20 minutes, stirring often.

Cook sausage in large pan until brown and crumbly. Drain and set aside.

Divide mozzerella between the two ciabatta slices. Then top with sausage, gorgonzola, onions, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place back in oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with fresh basil. Cut and serve warm.

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