Making the switch to a gluten-free lifestyle hasn’t been the trauma it could have been; I say that because most of the challenge in being gluten-free comes in the form of baked goods and I didn’t bake that often. I mean, I certainly never made it a regular habit to bake a loaf of bread, doughnuts, croissants or puff pasty – but making a great gluten-free pizza was the one food I craved most.
It seems I am not alone in my love for pizza – did you know that Las Vegas holds the world’s largest ‘pizza-only’ trade show? Americans eat 3 billion pizzas every year (that’s a lot of pizza!) with more pizzas ordered during the Super Bowl than any other time of the year – Halloween ranks right up there too! Pepperoni is the number one topping of choice (you knew that already, right?) But what you may not know is that there is a high number of pizzerias within five miles of every computer center – yep, we’re all crazy for pizza.
This recipe from Nancy Silverton’s Mozza is hands-down our favorite pizza – and just in case you need another endorsement, The Professor and I made this pizza for Shauna, Danny and Lu on our recent trip to Seattle and The Chef was singing its praises from the rafters . . . regardless, we can’t seem to get enough of this beautiful pie.
NOTE: The fennel pollen is key to the success of this pizza; it is pricey and you’ll probably need to order it as most grocery stores won’t stock it on their shelves. You could toast fennel seed, and then grind – this won’t have the same punch as you get from fennel pollen, but it will do in a pinch.
GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA WITH SAUSAGE, CREAM AND SCALLIONS
Slightly adapted from The Mozza Cookbook
Makes 2, 8-inch pizzas
- Your favorite Gluten-Free Crust
- 2 Spicy Italian turkey sausages (approximately 8 ounces, give or take)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
- 3-4 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, torn into ½-inch pieces
- 3 scallions, cut on the diagonal; trim the green end slightly, then begin slicing from that end
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced purple onion
- 2 Tablespoons fennel pollen
- Make your gluten-free dough as much as a day ahead (this gives the dough a chance to develop that ‘yeasty’ flavor)
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees; if you have a pizza stone, place in your oven as it pre-heats, preferably on the floor of the oven
- Remove sausage casings and break links into 2-3 pieces; lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Roll or press out dough between 2 pieces of parchment; remove top piece of parchment and push back the edges of the dough to create somewhat of a ‘rolled’ or ‘mounded’ edge; sprinkle the dough with kosher salt and brush the edge with olive oil
- Place dough, on the parchment, directly on the pizza stone (if using); otherwise, place dough, on parchment, onto a baking sheet and then into the oven.
- Bake dough for about 6-8 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is golden brown and the top of the crust is still tender, yet par-baked; remove from oven and cool for 5-7 minutes; remove the crust from the parchment
- Spread whipped cream onto cooled crust, starting in the center, moving cream out towards the edges – leave a 1-inch rim with no cream
- Break turkey sausages into bite-sized pieces and scatter over the cream; scatter the cheese, then the scallions and purple onion
- Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and is a nice, golden brown
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with fennel pollen
- Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, cut into slices and serve