Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

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Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza baked hot and bubbly and garnished with fennel fronds.

I say start the new year with pizza! Yes, that’s right, crispy, cheesy, flavour-packed Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza. We can not make just any pizza, it truly needs to be a cast-iron pizza to start the new year right. It creates the best golden and crisp underside that you’ll ever create at home, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making all your pizzas this way. Most new year resolutions include some form of healthy eating, but I think the new year (because it’s gonna be great) deserves full-on, carefree, in your face deliciousness. The sausage and fennel combination has not only become my new favourite, cooking it in a cast-iron pan tips it over the edge of my pizza nirvana. So move over plain ol’ pepperoni pizza… grown-up pizza just walked in.

A cast iron skillet full of of ingredients for Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza.
Pizza dough, marinara sauce and fennel ready for Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza.

With the new year upon us, we have no choice but to be hopeful for a more user-friendly year. Even though I can consider 2020 a good year, it hasn’t been without its frustrations, and for many people, it has been a year of hardship and heartache. While we can’t eat cheesy, sausage laden pizza all the time, it’s a good reminder to enjoy a few of the simpler things that we can. It’s also great fun to create homemade pizza at home with loved ones lending a helping hand.

All the best in 2021, let’s eat!

Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza garnished with fennel fronds and cut into slices on a black cutting board.

Sausage and Fennel Cast Iron Pizza garnished with fennel fronds and cut into slices on a black cutting board.
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Sausage and Fennel Cast-Iron Pizza

Course Main Course
Keyword baked, cast iron, cast iron pizza, fennel, garlic, Italian sausage, mozzerella, olive oil, pizza, pizza dough
Cook Time 14 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 8-10 ounces pizza dough homemade or store-bought
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage about 2 links, casing removed
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce homemade or store bought
  • 3 ounces shredded mozzarella about 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced plus fronds for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Set oven rack to its uppermost position. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  • Drizzle room temperature pizza dough with 1 tbsp olive oil and press out to a 10" round. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 10" cast-iron skillet. Add Italian sausage and cook over medium, breaking up any large pieces. Once cooked and slightly crisp remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • With the heat still on medium/low, immediately lay pizza dough in the pan, stretching out to the edges using a spatula or spoon if necessary. Top dough with marinara, then mozzarella, fennel, garlic and sausage. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and check the underside which should be starting to brown and crisp. Transfer pan to oven and bake until bubbling, about 10-14 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and fennel fronds or fresh basil. Lift out of the pan and cut into wedges and serve.

Notes

-The dough will press out better on a wooden surface such as a cutting board as opposed to granite or super-smooth surfaces.
-I prefer a thinner crust and opt for 8 ounces of dough vs 10.  It is 10 ounces pictured in the blog.
-Makes one 10" pizza, however, a 12" cast-iron skillet would work too, just use the 10 ounces of dough.  There's plenty of topping, so there's no need to adjust unless you'd like more cheese.
-The original recipe from Bon Appétit suggests garnishing with fresh basil, however, I enjoy using fresh fennel fronds instead, but it's a matter of preference and both are delicious. 

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Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread

Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread

Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.

May is National Barbecue Month…

 

So fire up your grill for this amazing Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread. There’s so much that can be cooked on the barbeque/grill and today I’m gonna tell you how easy it is to grill bread.

You would normally think that the dough would stick terribly to the grates, however, as the dough cooks and forms a crust on the bottom it pulls away from the grates making it virtually non stick. There is a fine line between perfectly golden and crispy to overdone, so you want to watch it closely. Depending on your grill and heat setting, the first side takes only 5-6 minutes to form that slightly charred crust.

Fresh ingredients for Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread arranged on a wooden cutting board.

Tips for grilling bread

 

1. Grill small portions of bread instead of one large piece. This not only allows for more uniform cooking, but it’s also easier to flatten and move smaller portions to the grill.
2. Don’t try to make the flatbread perfectly shaped, it just won’t happen! The dough shrinks up and morphs into a shape of its own when you pick it up and move it to the grill. It’s okay to be a little rustic!
3. Make sure your grill is scraped clean to prevent sticking. A small amount of non-stick spray applied before grilling can also help.
4. Don’t overcrowd the toppings. The dough is almost cooked when you flip it over, therefore too many toppings will require an excessive amount of time to heat through, causing the dough to overcook.
5. Have all your toppings ready prior to starting.
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favourite toppings, but if you’re aiming for something smothered in melty cheese this type of flatbread is not for you. Too much cheese will not melt in the time it takes the flatbread to cook.
7. When camping, make the dough at home ahead of time. After the first rise split dough in half, punch down and seal in two medium freezer bags. Place in fridge or freezer to stop the rising process. Allow to come to room temperature and proceed with recipe.

Grilling is a huge part of our cooking during the summer months, both at home and when we are out camping and overlanding. You can see more of what we do outdoors at Mark Bouliane – YouTube Eating well and having fun with food is important to us, both at home and when travelling in our jeep. Because the grill is our primary cooking source when adventuring outdoors, dishes like Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread only adds to the fun of it all and makes us feel like we aren’t compromising. It’s great at home or anywhere else you happen to grill. Enjoy!

Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.
Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    10 minutes 70-80 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    10 minutes 70-80 minutes
    Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread cut into wedges on a wooden cutting board.
    Grilled Prosciutto and Asparagus Flatbread
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      10 minutes 70-80 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      2 12x8 flatbreads 50 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      10 minutes 70-80 minutes
      Ingredients
      Dough
      Flatbread
      Servings: 12x8 flatbreads
      Instructions
      Dough
      1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, honey and yeast. Allow to ferment for 6-8 minutes.
      2. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, olive oil and salt. Begin kneading, allowing all the flour to be absorbed before adding more. Add additional flour gradually until dough is soft, subtle and no longer sticky to the touch, about 8 minutes. The exact amount of flour will vary.
      3. Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Shape dough into a ball and place in bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until double in size, about 1 hour.
      Flatbread
      1. Slice prosciutto into 1/4" strips. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high and cook prosciutto until crisp, stirring often. This will take 8-10 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
      2. Preheat grill to medium.
      3. Cut the woody 1-2" off the bottom of the asparagus spears. If they are thick spears, shave the bottoms lightly with a vegetable peeler to make them uniform in width. Rub spears lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
      4. Place asparagus directly on grill against the grain of the grills. Grill for 4-6 minutes until crisp-tender, turning once or twice. Remove from grill and set aside.
      5. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, basil, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cut asparagus into 1" pieces and toss with a drizzle of lemon and oil, saving the remainder for finished flatbread.
      6. Deflate the dough by kneading 3-4 times and divide the dough into two portions. Cover lightly and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. This will help relax the dough and make it easier to flatten. Spread and press one portion out to an approximate 13"x8" rectangle on a flat, movable surface like a cutting board or back of a baking tray.
      7. Peel dough off of surface in one motion if possible and lay on preheated grill. Spread out corners slightly if possible. Close lid and cook for about 5-6 minutes until golden and crisp on the bottom. The time will vary depending on your grill and heat setting. Poke any large air bubbles and flip dough over.
      8. Immediately scatter on half of the asparagus, prosciutto and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan and close the lid. Allow to cook for 3-4 more minutes to warm toppings and finish cooking the dough. Remove to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and lemon juice and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -The dough will shrink up some when transferred to the grill, there's no stopping this, don't fight it!  I can usually grab and stretch out a couple corners once it is on the grill, but once it's on I don't mess with it much.

       

      Affiliate Disclosure

      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Grilled Riverside Pizza

      Grilled Riverside Pizza

      Pizza and camping? Not your usual combination, but why not? Individual Grilled Riverside Pizza is an easy and super fun meal to build up with your favourite toppings and takes only minutes to grill. For me it’s always pepperoni, green peppers and sometimes black olives with a sprinkle of fresh basil and of course plenty of cheese. A pretty standard pizza for some, but ohhh so perfect with crispy charred bits reminiscent of a wood burning oven. Plus eating it from a napkin in my camp chair enjoying a river view is pretty great too. Any grill will work for this, so you don’t necessarily need to be camping to pull this off, but where’s the fun in that?

      A little prep is required if you choose to make your own dough, but of course you can use pre made frozen bread dough which works well. Plus it’s convenient, leaving you more time to enjoy the great outdoors. The main trick is to work the dough fairly thin so it cooks quickly without burning over the open flame. It may also be necessary to pierce any large dough bubbles that form before turning to keep things cooking evenly. Most of all, have fun, be creative with your toppings and enjoy!

      Recipe source for Grilled Riverside Pizza:  Compelled To Cook

      Grilled Riverside Pizza
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        5-6 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        10 minutes 70 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        5-6 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        10 minutes 70 minutes
        Grilled Riverside Pizza
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          5-6 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          10 minutes 70 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          5-6 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          10 minutes 70 minutes
          Ingredients
          Pizza Dough
          Pizza
          Servings:
          Instructions
          Pizza Dough
          1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Stir in half the flour, olive oil and salt. Continue to knead with mixer, adding flour by the 1/4 cup until smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, using a little less or a little more flour to achieve this. About 7 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size in a warm draft free area, about an hour. Punch down dough and divide into 5-6 equal portions approximately 125g each.
          Pizza
          1. If making right away, preheat grill to medium and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough portion into an approximate 9"x6" rectangle or any shape really, the key is to have the dough fairly thin. Immediately place dough onto hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes until dough is crispy on the bottom and the top is starting to puff a little. Pierce any large bubbles on the top and flip dough. Spread with pizza sauce and add desired pizza toppings and continue to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until toppings are hot and dough is cooked. Remove from grill, drizzle with oil and top with additional fresh basil if desired. Cut into desired portions.
          2. If saving dough to use later, wrap portions with plastic wrap and chill or freeze dough until ready to use. Allow enough time to defrost dough in refrigerator and bring either to room temperature prior to grilling. Once dough is at room temperature, continue by working dough into a thin disc and proceed with grilling.
          Recipe Notes

          Use purchased frozen bread dough if desired.  Allow dough to come to room temperature and divide into portions prior to proceeding.

          Regardless of the dough used, the key is to work each portion fairly thin so it cooks quickly enough on the grill before becoming too dark.  It's also important to not over fill the pizza with toppings, as too much prevents the toppings from heating through and melting the cheese.