Category: Pizza

Sausage and Ricotta Pizza

Sausage and ricotta might be my favorite pizza pairing of all time. BBQ chicken a close second but it’s not nearly as traditional. The pesto base is just enough to keep it light but add another layer of flavor. Tomato would be all kind of overwhelming for me. Get the whole milk ricotta. Just do it. Enjoy the fat. It’s delightfully sweet and has an unbelievably good texture. It softens on the heat the grill and becomes little pillows. I want huge chunks of sausage on my pizza, a blast of flavor with every bite. Craving that kind of pizza right now. Grilling pizza is a year round thing. There aren’t any seasons when my grilling is concerned.


  • 1 ball of pizza dough, room temperature if you’ve been storing it elsewhere
  • 1/2c pesto [I bought premade stuff from New Seasons and had leftovers]
  • 4oz mozzarella, shredded
  • 4oz whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2lb ground hot Italian sausage, cooked
  • Oregano, basil, or red chile flakes for serving


Preheat your grill to a high heat. You want it really, really hot to start so it’ll crisp up the dough the way you want. You’ll turn it down to medium right before you toss the dough on.

Roll the dough out to your desired thickness. Brush the top with olive oil. Place the oiled side down on the grill. In 3-4 minutes, check for grill marks on the dough. It should be puffed up possibly, but that’ll disappear. If the dough lifts off the grates easily, you’re in good shape. Pull it off the grill, grill-side down onto a baking sheet and return to the kitchen to assemble your pizza.

Brush or spoon an even layer of pesto on the crust. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top. Sprinkle the sausage in an even-isn layer. Using a spoon, dot the top of the pizza with dollops of ricotta. Place the pizza back onto the grill. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes. The same grill marks will appear and the cheese will be nice and melty.

Remove from the grill. Top with your seasonings. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and eating.

Philly Cheesesteak Stromboli

Apparently when I decide I want to make pizza, everyone else decides they want to make pizza. While I can definitely make my own, it’s just easier to go across the street. I’ve come to the realization that I have to go check the pizza dough stock first before I start grabbing all of the toppings. I’d say 50% of the time they’re out, and I have to either resort to ordering a pizza or switching gears entirely to pasta or something since it’s the easiest way to utilize the same pizza toppings. Realistically I could start the dough before I even go to the store, and it would be ready by the time I got back, but that never seems to cross my mind until I’m back [or sitting here writing a blog post]. Funny.

I’m all for a little food sacrilege sometimes. I’m sure the pho-rench dip [a french dip served vietnamese style with pho broth for dipping] I ate at Lardo the other night counts. I’m sure eating half of my burrito before using the rest of the tortilla as a bowl and forking out the contents counts, too. I really don’t care so long as it tastes good. It keeps things interesting.

Case in point — this stromboli. Bring on the Philly cheesesteak contents. It’s beefy. It’s cheesy. It has all you could love about a cheesesteak with marginally less bread than you’d get from a sandwich. It’s less messy, too. It’s practically a fool-proof process [especially after last time’s meltdown]. I made sure to roll it out a little thicker, and do it on the Silpat/pan so I didn’t have to worry about trying to move it too far. It’s still not pretty, but it does taste good.

Inspiration: Taste of Home


  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound of deli sliced roast beef, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 pound provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 pound American cheese, shredded
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 8oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper


If your dough has been refrigerated, bring it out to rest while you cook up the vegetables.

In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Add a healthy pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms darken and start to release their moisture. Add the bell pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle on top of a Silpat or a piece of parchment. Spread the cheese evenly over the dough. Top with the roast beef. Add the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Taking the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch the seam to gather and close the ends. Slice the top with a knife so steam can escape.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush on top of the stromboli. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it set for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Steak & Blue Grilled Pizza

Things of note:

Summer is here! It’s been SUPER hot lately [like everywhere]. We went to Astoria, OR over the weekend [the beach!] to play in the ocean with the dog, drink a lot of beer from Fort George Brewery, check out the Goonies house, watch the sunset from the Astoria Column, and eat the biggest bagel and lox plate of my life from Street 14 Coffee.

Currently reading: The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones because one can never have too much pleasure from cooking.

Our office is rocking three different types of bubbly water these days. Hydration has never been more fun.

I switched back to green smoothies for breakfast. This week = avocado, celery, spinach, rolled oats, sweetener, water, ice.

The light in the fridge went out. Why does that feel way more ominous than a normal light?

I made a fresh salad dressing to go with dinner. It’s from the same book that I’ve been getting the pizza recipes. I’m dubbing it walnut honey dressing: walnut oil, rice vinegar, honey, salt, shallot, dry mustard powder. Shaken and poured over butter lettuce and a handful of fresh blueberries.

I made this pizza for our good friend who came over to help us with some fun house stuff. Who doesn’t want to work in a nearly 100° garage? Did I mention we have nice friends? The least I could do was treat him to dinner. This is the epitome of rich, meaty deliciousness. I overcooked the steak a little too much for my liking. I like it way more pink, but it was still juicy at least. I’ll take it. I’m in love with the roasted garlic paste these pizzas are suggesting. It’s my new favorite pizza base. There was a note in the margin of the book to add a little bit of horseradish. I wish I would have seen that before I’d gone to the store. That would have been a perfect substitute for the inevitable blanket of chile flakes.

PS – Have you ever seen such a misshapen pizza before? I’m naming it North Carolina. It still tastes good.

Inspiration: Pizza on the Grill


  • 16oz top sirloin steak, approx. 1 1/2 inches thick, room temperature
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup grits or corn meal
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic paste [3 heads of roasted garlic + olive oil, pureed]
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions [I sauteed a medium sized onion in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 20 minutes]
  • 4oz Roquefort or other blue cheese, grumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper


Preheat the grill on high for 10 minutes before turning it down to medium.

Drizzle both sides of the steak with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Sprinkle the grits around on your dough rolling surface. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness. Drizzle both sides with olive oil before place one side down on the grill. Grill for three minutes or until grill marks show up on the one side. It shouldn’t be sticking, and will be easy to pull off to a rimless baking sheet, grilled side up. Turn off the middle burner if your grill has three of them.

Smother the grilled side of the pizza with the garlic paste. Sprinkle it with the caramelized onions. Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Arrange the steak on the onion and garlic mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese, and return to the grill for 7-9 minutes. The bottom will be crisp and the cheese melted.

Remove from the grill and sprinkle with the parsley. Cut and serve immediately.

Prosciutto and Arugula White Pizza

It’s not everyday that I get to stand in front of the cheese counter and pick up not one, not two, but three cheeses. I’m easily buying 1-2 cheese a week these days, but three at once? Heaven. I do love me some cheese counter at the fridge New Seasons, but it’s no Foster & Dobbs. That’s probably my favorite cheese counter so far. Still on my list are Cheese Bar and Atomic Cheese. I’ll get there someday.

[remember how I started this blog avoiding dairy cheese? my how things change…]

New Seasons is great for the simple things, which is exactly what I needed to get — asiago, mozzarella, ricotta. None of that skim crap. Only whole milk will do [for taste and less likely to have a reaction]. This was an epic pizza. It needed three cheeses. It needed white truffle oil. I can’t believe I caved and bought some, but I did. It added such a subtle complexity to the cheese. Did I mention the cheese sat atop a layer of roasted garlic spread?

Because it did. Roasting your own garlic is easy, but takes longer to roast than the pizza to cook, so I bought the pre-roasted stuff. Drizzle in a little olive oil and blend. Sweet creamy garlic bliss. Arugula was a nice, spicy kick to the pile of subtle complexity. It’s amazing how a little bit of olive oil mixed in subdues it’s intensity. Lastly? Prosciutto. It’s added last and is not heated. It gets salty when cooked, remember? Let’s not do that again.

Sublime. That’s the only way I can describe this pizza. It’s my new favorite. Hands down. I ate way more than I should have, and have zero qualms about it. It’s just that good. So far this book is two for two. I’m liking these stats.

Inspiration: Pizza on the Grill


  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup grits or polenta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic with a touch of olive oil, blended or mashed with a fork
  • 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup asiago cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup ricotta cheese, full-fat
  • 2 teaspoons white truffle oil
  • 1 cup fresh baby arugula
  • 4oz prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper


Preheat the grill on high for 10 minutes before turning it down to medium. Spread the grits out on your flat surface. Roll the dough out as large as you can get it, until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Drizzle both sides with olive oil. Grill on one side for 2-3 minutes. You want to see nice grill marks on the dough. Remove to a rimless baking sheet, grilled side up.

Spread the roasted garlic paste in an equal layer on the bottom of the pizza. Sprinkle the asiago and mozzarella cheese throughout. Add dollops of ricotta cheese. Turn off the middle burner if your grill has three burners, or turn everything down to a medium low. Place the pizza back on the grill for 6-8 minutes.

Once the cheese is melted and you have grill marks on the bottom of the pizza, remove it to your pan again. Drizzle the truffle oil on the finished pizza. I used a pastry brush to even it out. That’s your call. Toss the arugula with a little bit of olive oil before spreading it in a light, even layer over the pizza. Top with your bite sized pieces of prosciutto.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

BBLT Pizza

I haven’t been cooking a thing lately but I’ve been cracking my knuckles a ton, unless you count slathering crunchy peanut butter and raw honey on Dave’s Killer Bread [which has been breakfast AND lunch lately — no shame]. It’s been eat out, eat out, eat out.

A ham and smoked gouda waffle taco from Flavour Spot? Check.

Plates of sushi from Samurai Blue? Check.

Herbed French toast from Radar? Check.

That doesn’t include the nachos, bagels, fresh juice, pasta with meatballs, abundance of froyo, and handful of breakfast burritos and tacos I’ve eaten. Seriously. I’m sensing a pattern.

We were at the library the other day — been reading books left and right lately — and Andrew hands me Pizza on the Grill. “Here, you’re getting this.” He’s subtle.

So we busted it out tonight. There are some gems in here, as well as others that make you scratch your head a little bit, but you can’t win them all. I see a lot of pizza in my future.

They make premade pizza dough at the store for a reason. Who am I to deny convenience? I am so easily convinced. It gave me more time to deal with all the other subtle aspects to this blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. I’ll just say it now:

Grilled. Romaine. Hearts.

So damn good. I haven’t grilled any since last summer, but this pizza more than makes up for it. I splurged on a good blue cheese. It had a subtle tang, and wasn’t overly pungent in smell. It pooled into little lakes between the sweet chunks of heirloom tomatoes and crumbled bacon. Oh yes, the crumbled bacon. It was such a good combination. We destroyed the entire pizza in one sitting [no one is shocked, right?], which was necessary. The middle of the pizza will get soggy if you don’t jump on it. The tomatoes will get ooze all kinds of juice despite draining them prior to grilling. The recipe says you can let it stew in the fridge overnight, but who has that kind of time? Not I. My stomach needs food ASAP after work.

Inspiration: Pizza on the Grill


  • 1 ball of pizza dough, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal or grits
  • 1lb (about 2 medium) heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 6oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart
  • salt and pepper
  • chile flakes
  • fresh sprigs of rosemary


Preheat the gas grill on high for 10 minutes. Turn down to medium after that.

In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, garlic, one tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Cut the romaine in half length-wise. Brush [or spray] the romaine lettuce with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill for two minutes, flipping until all sides have grill marks. Set aside.

Sprinkle the cornmeal on a large flat surface. Roll out the dough, or spread it with your hands for a more rustic look, until it’s about 1/4-1/3″ thick. I tried to make mine a rectangle. It’s definitely anything but. Drizzle both sides with olive oil. Place one side down onto the grill and shut the lid. Let it grill for 3 minutes, or until the bottom has nice, dark grill marks. Pull it off onto a rimless baking sheet, grilled side up. Turn off your middle burner if your grill has three burners, or turn all the heat down to medium-low.

Drizzle a little more olive oil onto the unbaked side. Sprinkle some chile flakes and rosemary. Drain the tomatoes and mix in the fresh basil. Spread the tomatoes onto the pizza dough. Cover the with the bacon and blue cheese. Place back on the grill for 5-7 minutes until the cheese melts and the bottom is crispy.

Remove from the grill, and slice the grilled romaine into pieces lengthwise. Place the lettuce on top of the pizza. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slice into pieces and eat immediately.

Coppa & Cherry Pepper French Bread Pizza

Sometimes you just need to gnaw on an entire half of a loaf of french bread. I almost went for the big one, but changed my mind last minute after carrying around the loaf in my basket through the entire store. I do that. A lot.

I spent way too much time agonizing deciding on what to buy sometimes. It gets pretty bad.

I switched mostly because I didn’t want to buy more cheese. A small brick of mozzarella was plenty. While I’m a cheeseaholic, I don’t like my pizzas too cheesy. Sacrilegious, I know.

Have you ever asked yourself, “how could I possibly make pizza that much more of a comfort food?” I do that all the time. This was a result of that. I even ditched any greenery for just a handful of sliced hot cherry peppers. They kind of overwhelmed the pizza with the tomato sauce. Hot coppa just disappeared into it.  I was more into the cheese and bread anyway, let’s be honest.


  • 1 small loaf of french bread [double the rest of you get the large one]
  • olive oil
  • 4oz shredded mozzarella
  • 10-12 slices coppa salami
  • 1 hot cherry pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • basil


Preheat the broiler and have a baking sheet handy. Slice the french bread in half lengthwise. Brush the bread with olive oil. Stick it under the broiler for a few minutes until it’s golden brown and toasted.

While it toasts, heat up the tomato paste with Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar. Add salt to taste. Brush the paste onto the bread. Top with half of the cheese. Place the coppa on in a single layer on each piece of bread. Sprinkle with the peppers and the remainder of the cheese.

Stick the bread back under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven, slice into more manageable pieces, serve.

Pancetta and Brussels Sprout Pizza

We’ve polished off an entire cake, a whole batch of brownies, and 2-3 pints of gelato in the last week. It’s been like that around here.

I’d like to think it’s preparing me for the BBQ binge that’s happening in a few days [it’s not].

In an effort to bring some balance, I bring pizza! With greenery on it! That totally counts as a vegetable even if it’s so roasted that it’s not green anymore.

I went the lazy route and picked up dough at the fridge for $3 instead of waiting for my own to be made. The flour in my pantry is much better suited for cake and brownies instead of pizza dough. I went the pancetta route mostly because I can’t stand the bacon in the meat department, and I didn’t want a whole package. It is much, much saltier than bacon, remember. I liked it, but if you don’t like super salty, I’d go with a few less pieces. Brussels! All the brussels. I actually could have gone for more than the 1/2lb I grabbed. Shredding them up means they actually break apart when you take a big bite. There isn’t anything more annoying than taking a bite of pizza and half your toppings sliding off.

I went lighter on the cheese because I wanted to taste every salty morsel of pancetta. I nixed any sort of pizza sauce because it’d overwhelm the pizza.

It’s a seriously delicious combination. I hear it pairs well with brownies.

Inspiration: How Sweet It Is


  • 1 pizza dough
  • 6 slices pancetta, diced
  • 1/2lb brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 4oz fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil for brushing
  • Dried Italian herbs [basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage]


Preheat an oven to 375° and spray a pizza pan with olive oil or other nonstick spray. If the dough was being kept cool, let it come to room temperature while you prepare the toppings.

In a skillet on medium high heat, cook the pancetta until the edges are crispy. Remove to a paper towel with a slotted spoon and leave the grease. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the shallot, cooking for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add the brussels and garlic, stirring to coat in the pancetta grease. Cook for another 5-6 minutes until they’re soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. Mix the pancetta in with the brussels.

Stretch or roll out the pizza dough to fit on your pizza pan. Brush the dough with olive oil, sprinkling liberally with your Italian herb mixture. Sprinkle the brussels mixture evenly over the dough. Try not to lick your fingers. Cover with the cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese melted and the crust starts to turn golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting with a pizza cutter and devouring.

Roasted Corn, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese Pita Pizza

I kind of have a thing for goat cheese.

No matter what I’m in the mood for, if I see something on a menu with goat cheese, it automatically gets my attention and an 85% chance I’m getting it. It doesn’t even matter what it’s with. Goat cheese on a burger? Done. Goat cheese in pasta? Sold. Goat cheese stuffed in dates? Yum. I. Love. Goat cheese.

As a side note, I was having a conversation with someone a little bit ago about how we generalize cheese so much. Goat cheese is a pretty blanket term for a ton of various cheeses made with goat’s milk. The same goes for Swiss. I mean, yeah, we automatically think of the stuff with the holes in it, but there a lot of Swiss cheeses. Cheddars? Same boat. It’s kind of funny and sad all at the same time. That said, I’ll gladly get to know each and every cheese just to educate myself on the varieties. Bring it on.

I have no shame in admitting I made this pita pizza purely as a vehicle for said goat cheese. I went to the store for it specifically. It helps that I had two leftover pitas sitting in the fridge from the last round of hummus, but I’m sure I would have done something else otherwise.

Have you ever made pizza on a pita? It’s kind of cheating, and it’s kind of awesome. I’m pretty sure awesome is a greater part of it so don’t let your conscience weigh on you too much. I used the grill to toast the bottom of the pita. Depending on how long you grill it, it yields a delightful pita chip quality. You then remove it, flip it, top the grilled part as you see fit, and return it to the grill for another short time. And by short, I mean really, really short. The grill isn’t very forgiving sometimes, so plan on being very available while the “pizza” is on there if you go that route. You could totally bake it, too. It’s probably the safer route.


  • 2 whole wheat pitas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 small zucchini, small dice
  • 1 ear of corn, kernals cut from the cob
  • 1oz+ goat cheese


Preheat grill to medium [approx. 400º], and if you have the ability, turn off the middle burner and leave the other ones outside to give the pizza a burn-free zone. In a bowl, toss the zucchini and corn in olive oil and the lemon pepper seasoning. Spread it out over a cookie sheet with a Silpat, parchment, or aluminum foil. Place it on the grill, stirring every few minutes to keep it from burning.

Once the zucchini and corn have taken on a nice char, approx.15 minutes or so, remove from the grill. You’ll probably have more veggies than pita, and I was totally okay with that. Pre-dinner snack? Perfect.

Place the pitas on the grill for a minute or two. Remove it from the grill, and brush the grilled side with olive oil and top with oregano. Top with the zucchini and corn mixture. Break off small dollops of goat cheese evenly over the pizza. Alternatively, you could spread it on over the pita and then top it with vegetables, but I wanted bursts of goat cheese. Place the ungrilled side of the pita back onto the grill and heat until crispy, another minute or two.

Allow to cool before eating.

Serves 1 generously


Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I’m still missing Italy. Surprise, surprise. The idea of drinking espresso multiple times daily has been thrown out. Spending $2-3 every day just isn’t the same as €1, even without the conversion. We’ve been trying to get out as much as possible, imitating the Italian aspects of life we loved so much. Sitting at home just isn’t as awesome, y’know? We went to an Italian meetup group on Sunday. A group of people of varying levels of Italian meet up, bring snacks, and talk. It’s premise is to work on speaking Italian in a place where it isn’t as practical to keep fluent. Of course there are people like me who know next to nothing, but would love to learn. Eventually towards the end of the night, the conversations tend to disintegrate into entirely English, talking about experiences in Italy. It was cool to be around people who just get it.


There was a neat photographer/curator speaker at Ampersand Gallery and Fine Books Tuesday night. It’s the second one I’ve been to. Since I haven’t been very creatively inclined most of my life, it’s fun to see how the other half lives, and what kind of projects they work on. The night was rounded out with a show at The Know, a local bar and music venue, to see our friend’s band The Great Apes.


Tonight, we braced ourselves for a disaster at dinner. Via Tribunali is a pizzeria known for it’s Neapolitan pies that mimic those of southern Italy. We were craving a Italian pizza fix. You can see where this was going. A Caesar salad, a quattro stagione pizza [pomodoro, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto cotto, oven-roasted mushrooms, salame piccante, grana padano, basil], a vermouth and soda for me, and a Peroni for him. Easy enough. The service left a lot to be desired. The food was on point, though. Four star food with 2-3 star service. *cue the wah-wah noise* To finish off the gripe, these 12″ pies were in the $14-17 range. Pies in Italy go for €6-8. Again, irritating. We knew this would happen, but we went anyway. They do have a $5 happy hour. That might be redeeming. Maybe.

The cauliflower pizza crust started circulating something fierce awhile back, so naturally I had to jump on that train. I didn’t have a whole lot of luck with the mashed cauliflower [I need to try that again], but when it’s smothered in pizza toppings, how bad could it be? The crust definitely didn’t hold up like a pizza crust. Cradling it in your hands is out of the question. I had to knife and fork it the entire time, but I have no problem with that. I can pretend to be classy and have table manners. Pizza cravings can totally be satisfied in terms of flavor, and you’re getting a whole lot more nutrients than a regular crust can provide. Just to make sure it’s not too healthy, there is a healthy dose of shredded cheese in it. Shredded cheese makes everything better.! I’ll probably make it again, if only for something different. Besides, I can’t be let down by pizza that isn’t claiming to be from southern Italy.
Inspiration: Meals & Moves


  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 2oz finely shredded cheese [I used colby jack, but feel free to use whatever cheese makes sense for your pizza]
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon ranch dressing seasoning [I actually had a packet of this on hand…random]
  • salt and pepper
  • pizza toppings of choice [Mine: fire roasted tomatoes, zucchini, green pepper, mushrooms, more cheese]


  1. Preheat the oven to 450° and prep a baking sheet with a Silpat or baking spray.
  2. Grate the cauliflower [I used the food processor—lazy!].
  3. Microwave the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, until steamed and soft.
  4. Prepare the toppings while it cools.
  5. Combine the cooled cauliflower, egg, shredded cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic, oregano, basil, ranch dressing, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. It’ll be soft and pliable.
  6. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet into a crust shape. It should be about 1/4″ thick or so, making the largest rectangle you can.
  7. Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes until the edges start to turn a crispy brown color.
  8. Layer your toppings, the lighter the better unless you like mush.
  9. Return the pizza to the oven for another 5-7 minutes until everything is heated through and any cheese has melted.
  10. Slice and eat.
  11. Wish you were in Italy.

Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage Stromboli

I’m kind of a closet perfectionist. I try not to let it rule my world. Logic and order and all that stuff make me warm and fuzzy. Anything creative stresses me out. Cooking and baking are definitely about as creative as I can get without feeling super anxious and uncomfortable. I mean, 2+2 always equals 4. Things that challenge your creativity are so open for interpretation. Right and wrong can get pretty ambiguous and it depends who you’re talking to. That’s sometimes a little too hard for me to handle [neurotic much?].

I have been known to have this minor melt downs when things aren’t just so or they aren’t as good as I think they should be. I’ve been this way for a long, long time. Self destruction on the softball field? Been there. Freaking out during a speech? Done that. It’s not pretty. I’d like to think I’ve gotten a lot better, but sometimes it rears it’s ugly head.

Case in point: this stromboli. Pizza cravings were in full effect. We had talked about stromboli with a friend just a few nights prior. It had to happen. I used the usual dough. It wasn’t until after I let it sit for 15 minutes that I realized I read my own instructions wrong. It was going to be one of those nights. I didn’t use the right amount of flour. I wondered why it was stickier than normal. I went with it, though, flouring everything, including my hands, a little more than normal. That’s when I rolled it out too thin. It stuck to the table in more places than one, and by the time I rolled up the toppings, it was virtually see-through.

More than one or two explitives were thrown around in full volume as I divised a way to get the stromboli to my pan. There wasn’t any turning back. I had a full blown rant on my hands. I ranted and raved as I applied the eggwash, assured that my efforts were futile and this was going to be the worst stromboli in the history of stromboli. I was cursing my stupidity for not using enough flour, and for rolling it out too thin. I whined to no one in particular [Andrew was bearing witness to this all, mind you] about how I just wished I could make decent, pretty looking food. Was that too much to ask?

Into the oven it went. I sighed a dejected sigh and cleaned up my mess. I was being far to dramatic and it was totally unnecessary. While doing the dishes, I started to feel more than a little foolish about my outburst. I checked the baking process through the window. It didn’t look that bad. I even convinced myself that less flour meant less carbs…or something. I had seriously done a 180° turn from 15 minutes prior. It was over and done with that quickly. It’s a lot funnier now than it was then. Poor Andrew.

The result was actually really good. I’m definitely going to make the dough properly next time, and probably add some more cheese. The flavor combo was out of this world, though. Splurging on the sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives made the best tomato base. That was so, so tangy and creamy. After killing off half of it, and a couple glasses of wine, all was right in the world.

Until I overcooked some carne asada a couple nights later. Whoops.

Inspiration: Pip  & Ebby


  • 1 batch of pizza dough
  • 8 sundried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 tablespoon oil from sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 10oz box of frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
  • 5-6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2lb spicy Italian chicken sausage
  • 10-15 slices of pepperoni
  • 4-6oz of shredded provolone
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with a silpat or aluminum fooil.
  2. In a food processor, add the tomatoes, oil, and olives. Pulse to combine until creamy. Set aside.
  3. Brown the sausage. Drain if a lot of grease accumulates. Mine didn’t.
  4. Roll out the dough to a large rectangle, about 10×14.
  5. Spread the tomato olive base all around the dough.
  6. Sprinkle toppings evenly across.
  7. Top with cheese last.
  8. Starting with the long end facing you, roll it up as if you were making cinnamon rolls.
  9. Pinch the edges and seams together.
  10. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Brush the top of the dough with the egg.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is hollow and toppings are oozing out.=
  13. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.

[Andrew took the photos again. Because he’s nice like that.]