Friday, November 2, 2012

Pizza Recipe for Autumn

Fall Pizza with Sage Pesto, Caramelized Butternut Squash, and Goat Cheese
One prepared pizza crust OR 1/2 recipe herbed pizza dough (search this site for my recipe)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sage pesto (recipe follows)
3/4 cup caramelized butternut squash (recipe follows)
2 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
4 thin slices of pancetta or prosciutto, cooked soft NOT crisp (I use the microwave for this) and cut into bite size pieces
1 leek (white part only), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch slices
fresh cracked pepper to taste
grated parmagiano reggiano to taste
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Sage pesto:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup loosely packed sage leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Caramelized butternut squash:
1/2 small butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

To make the pizza:Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. If using homemade dough, on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times and form it into a round flat disc. Roll or stretch the dough out into a thin 15 inch circle. Keep the dough moving on the surface so that it does not stick, dusting the dough and surface with extra flour as needed.

Dust the surface of a pizza peel with semolina flour and place the dough you are using. Lightly brush a one inch border of extra virgin olive oil around the pizza. Spread the sage pesto around the rest of the pizza and then evenly distribute the caramelized squash, the goat cheese, the pancetta, and the leek atop the sage pesto. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has slightly browned. Remove from the oven to a cutting board and add fresh cracked pepper, parmagiano reggiano, and additional nutmeg. Slice and serve immediately.

For the sage pesto:Combine the walnuts, sage, parsley, salt, and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 10 to 15 times to break up the walnuts and herbs somewhat. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

For the caramelized butternut squash:Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the diced squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 30 minutes until the squash is tender, mixing once after 15 minutes. Let cool.


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