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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Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll

Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll

Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll is a fantastic brunch or appetizer dish. It combines convenience with rustic flavours by using Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough, kale and Italian sausage. A great way to use kale as its sturdy leaves stand up to a little braising and pairs well with Italian sausage and cheese.

This perfectly golden pastry roll can easily be made up in advance and popped in the oven at the last minute, saving you time to spend with friends and family. The slices are plump with braised kale, melty cheese and Italian sausage making it delicious with eggs.  It’s a great addition to your brunch table.

Recipe source for Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll:  Compelled To Cook

 

 

Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    5-6 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    55-60 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    5-6 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    55-60 minutes
    Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      5-6 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      55-60 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      5-6 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      55-60 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Cook sausage until no longer pink and starting to brown. Remove sausage to a paper towel lined plate. In same skillet over medium heat, add remaining tbsp oil and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Stir in kale, broth, Italian seasoning, pepper and chili flakes. Allow to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed and kale is tender, about 15 minutes. There should be no visible liquid left. Remove to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
      2. Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll dough and separate each triangle. On the prepared pan, place 4 triangles in a horizontal line, lining up the corners of the shorter side. Place remaining 4 triangles parallel to the first 4, joining the bottoms of each triangle. 4 triangle tips will be pointing toward you while the other 4 away from you. See blog post for photo. Press dough together along the seam and press out slightly with your fingers, creating an approximate 3" dough surface for the filling.
      3. To the kale mixture, stir in sausage meat, gruyere cheese, and 2 tbsp of parmesan. Scoop out filling onto prepared dough bed in a straight horizontal line, keeping filling on the dough seam and leaving a 1" border at the ends. Slice tomato into 1/4" thick slices and lay slices in a flat row along the top of the filling row. Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Lift and bring triangle tips over and across filling, alternating tips. Cut excess dough from triangle tip and tuck end under. Use any excess dough to stretch and cover any filling spots that get missed in the first pass. Tuck and pinch ends together. The roll should be approximately 14" long.
      4. Whisk egg with a 1 tbsp of water and brush over roll. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and cut into 2-3" slices and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      Makes a great brunch item or appetizer.