Grilled Sausage and Peppers Pizza
This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. I bought my ingredients then created this recipe, the Ohio Pork Council paid me for my time.
Grilled Italian pork sausages, bell peppers, and onions top this pizza with plenty of cheese from both provolone and mozzarella. Since everything is cooked on the grill, your house stays cool while you enjoy the flavor of a sausage and pepper hoagie in pizza form.
The purpose of this post is to get my readers to take a short survey about Ohio pork (you don’t have to be an Ohio resident to respond). When you take this survey, you’ll be entered into a Le Creuset Dutch oven giveaway. Since it’s free for you to be here there’s not even any purchase necessary to enter. You’ve got nothing to lose! Why not? Go take the survey now, I’ll be waiting with the pizza when you get back.
I’m supposed to share what I love about Ohio pork today, and since we’re talking about love that means talking about my spouse. He returned from his 5th deployment a different man. I'm not talking about the time he went on his 4th deployment, and he went online and fell in love. Instead, my spouse now prefers to know more about the protein he eats than just “it was marked down at the grocery store”. For him, it’s a natural evolution from knowing who grows our produce—by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share—to knowing more about the proteins we choose to eat by sourcing them locally as well. Since I want to keep my time in the kitchen simple and fix one entree for the family, I needed to find new sources of protein.
|My spouse took this photo (cuz that's me on the right).|
Earlier this year I was delighted to meet Jean Mattis at the 2nd Street Farmer’s Market in downtown Dayton. She and her family raise hogs on their farm in Miami County, and we had a nice chat while I shopped for a Boston butt to make slow cooker Kalua Pig to share with some other families (it's a terrific meal to take to newly-arrived folks and families with a new baby). Since I started specifically looking for locally sourced Ohio pork, I’ve found it in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. This Fall I’ll grab some green tomatoes and some local Ohio pork chops to make Cabin Casserole. But first, as it’s Friday and my family likes a good Friday Night Pizza Night, let me show how I used the Mattis family’s Italian sausage in a grilled pizza.
I have glorious red bell peppers from our farm share, and I intend to make Donna’s Roasted Red Pepper Spread after both kids are back in school. For this pizza, though, I was thinking along the lines of a sausage and pepper hoagie. You’ve got to say it with a <terrible> New Yawk accent—saw-sage and pepp-uhs. Since it’s still plenty hot out, I’m using the grill as much as possible. In fact, other than the dough I whipped up in the morning, the rest of the meal was cooked on the grill.
I’ve got 3 tips for grilling pizza if you’ve never done it—and none of these tips involve working quickly because I resemble a sloth at the grill. First, get your grill screaming hot. Second, stretch your dough out onto parchment paper. [This is not the same as wax paper.] Third, use a grill stone for best results. I won my pizza grillstone from a giveaway, but they are $35 to $50 and well worth the cost once you realize how quickly you can make a tasty pizza. Quicker than calling for a pizza if you’ve got the ingredients handy. Speaking of giveaways, have you taken the survey and entered the giveaway for a Le Creuset Dutch oven yet? Go ahead. I just renewed my domain so I’ll be here, waiting.
Back to pizza! A funny thing happened when I started cooking—the rain came on much quicker than I’d anticipated. Normally grilling a pizza is a cardio workout for me, if you would please now imagine a sloth doing a cardio workout. Thank you. I head outside to get the grill set up and preheating, then head back inside to prep the dough and toppings. Once I’m ready with a stretched out disc of dough I head back out to clean the grill grates and cook the toppings. Then I head back in to chop the toppings and get the pizza ready. Back out to cook it. Lots of back and forth, and someone needs to keep an eye on the countertops lest Robert Barker steals our dinner. Again.
|My spouse took this photo, too.|
In the interests of saving time I brought out just about everything I’d need and proceeded to grill/chop the toppings and top the pizza outside. When the first drops started I scooted the grill just inside the garage so I could finish. I don’t advocate grilling within the garage, but needs must. Luckily by the time I finished taking some photos the rain had slowed to a sprinkle and the pizzas made it in safely. It would have been a new experience—Friday Night Pizza Night in the garage.
Note: I made this pizza using a gas grill. If you've got charcoal, you know better than I how to prepare your screaming hot surface and I'll get out of your way and let you do it.
Another Note: I use a pizza stone for this recipe because I have one. You can get them online or in the grill accessories area where grills are sold. If you don't have one, don't worry. When I forget to preheat the stone, I've just slid the parchment paper+topped pizza crust directly on the grill. Sure, the parchment paper ends up getting pretty burnt, but it doesn't stick to your dough and it ends up OK.
Yet Another Note: You can get away without using a pizza stone in a pinch, but parchment paper is pretty necessary in my book. Otherwise you're trying to flip the dough around all fast and it never ends well with me. With parchment paper I can take my time, and that's worth much of my sanity. I cut my parchment paper to fit my stone.
Grilled Sausage and Pepper Pizza (makes a single 12 to 14 inch pizza)
- ¼ pound Italian seasoned pork sausage
- ½ small onion
- 1 small red bell pepper
- olive oil, for brushing the vegetables and the pizza dough
- salt (I use kosher)
- 1 pound pizza dough of your choice (here are some suggestions)
- ¼ to ⅓ cup pizza sauce of your choice
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat grill to high. If you've got a grill stone, preheat that as well (see Note above). If not, no worries. I've done this without my stone when I forgot to preheat it and the pizza turned out OK. Clean the grill grates, then turn the heat down to medium.
- Place sausage links on preheated grill and close the lid. After 4 to 5 minutes check them--do you have grill marks, do they release from the grates easily? If so, then turn the sausage over. If not, wait another minute or two before flipping.
- Rub olive oil on the onion and pepper. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and place on grill. Close the lid. After 3 to 4 minutes check for grill marks and rotate. Repeat until all sides of the onion, pepper, and sausage are browned. Set aside.
- Turn the grill back up to high/full power.
- Stretch the pizza dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Oiling the parchment paper or sprinkling it with a bit of cornmeal or semolina helps if your dough is sticky.
- Brush the edges of the dough with olive oil.
- Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce atop the dough. Top with provolone cheese.
- Slice the sausage, pepper, and onion into small pieces and place on top of the cheese.
- Scatter the shredded cheese over the pizza.
- Slide the pizza + the parchment paper onto the preheated stone (or directly onto the preheated grill). Close grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly and the crust is golden.
- Cool a few minutes on a rack without the parchment paper underneath, then slice and serve.
For more pizza recipes, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index. For more recipes using sweet peppers, please see my Pepper Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.
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For more information about the Ohio Pork Council follow them on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Pinterest. Check out the Ohio Pork Council website here. And that survey? Did you fill it out yet? You won't be entered to win the Le Creuset Dutch oven giveaway until you do!