There is a part of “Eat, Pray, Love” in which Elizabeth Gilbert says she eats the world’s best pizza in Naples.
Grilled Lamb Sausage Pizza with Caramelized Onion and Feta
That’s funny, because I don’t live in Naples. And if she didn’t have pizza at my house, then she clearly didn’t have the best 🙂
Too bad Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t know about it, or she could have bypassed all that time in Naples and spent more time canoodling with Javier Bardem in Bali. I forget his character name, but I enjoy the thought of canoodling with Javier Bardem in Bali.
You may recall back when the Food Hound was just a wee speck in the blogosphere that the Booze Hound and I took a very food-and-baseball-centric trip to Boston. ‘Twas during this trip that I had The Best Pizza Ever, which inspired me to copycat it this weekend and make The Best Pizza Ever At Home.
The secret ingredient is the same now as it was then: lamb sausage. I don’t have enough time to tell you all the wonderful things about lamb sausage, but know this: it is the ultimate pizza condiment. It’s a little exotic, it’s a little spicy, and a lot awesome. Nestled among its best friends, caramelized onions and feta cheese, it creates the ultimate Greco-Roman feast 🙂
Lamb Sausage Pizza With Caramelized Onion and Feta
1/2 recipe Homemade Pizza Dough
1 lb lamb sausage
1 onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
Good quality olive oil
1 8-oz package Italian Blend cheese
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp Greek seasoning (optional, but I love Penzey’s Greek Seasoning!)
1. Preheat the grill at high heat.
2. Brown sausage over medium-high heat until cooked all the way through. Transfer sausage to a small bowl, leaving the gorgeous drippings in the pan.
3. Caramelize the onion in the gorgeous drippings (you know it’s gonna be a good night!) until golden. Transfer onion to a small bowl.
4. Roll pizza dough out on a well-floured surface to about a 12″x 16″ rectangle (this dough rolls out best when it’s cold). Drizzle one side of dough with a generous amount of olive oil and spread with a pastry brush to coat.
5. Turn the heat on the grill down to low, and place the dough oiled-side down on the grill. There is no attractive way to accomplish this task- you will get a “rustic” looking product, which is fun 🙂 Let the dough cook for a few minutes (about 5) while you bring all the other ingredients outside to the grill station.
6. Oil the top of the crust and flip when it’s cooked on the first side.
7. Spread the onions, sausage, cheeses and Greek seasoning on the first grilled side of the pizza. (If you are using another pizza recipe with this dough, this it where you layer all your toppings, minus garnishes like green onions or fresh herbs- they go on once off heat). Close the lid and let it cook long enough for the bottom of the crust to cook and the cheeses to melt, about 7-9 minutes. It’s on low heat, so burning is not a huge concern. When everything is the perfect melty consistency, slide the pizza onto a cutting board. Cut, serve, love.
(**If you prefer making pizza in the oven instead of on the grill, here is the link to my fave pizza dough for the oven + baking instructions!)
Homemade Grilling Pizza Dough
Adapted from Cooking Light
This is the pizza dough for the lazy hound! No rising! Nearly the whole thing is made with the stand mixer, and the process takes about 25 minutes, including mixing time. I always keep some in the freezer, and then you look like Ina Garten when you can just whip up homemade pizza any old time you like. This dough is firmer and drier than other doughs, making it perfect for grilling.
Yield: 2 pizzas or 8 calzones
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1 c warm water (100-110 degrees F)
1 1/4 c cold water
2 T olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
5 1/2 c unbleached bread flour, divided
1. Dissolve yeast in 1 c warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1 1/4 c cold water, oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
2. Combine flour, yeast mixture, and cold water mixture in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low 8 minutes or until dough begins to form. Let rest 2 minutes. Mix on low 6 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes. Add enough of the remaining 1/4 c flour, 1 T at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
3. Divide the dough in half, and place each portion in a large zip-top bag coated with cooking spray. Seal and chill overnight or up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for one hour before using.
Note: You can freeze the dough in heavy-duty, freezer-safe zip-top plastic bags for up to 2 months; thaw dough overnight in the refrigerator. (This is my preferred method! Easy for weeknight meals!)