Sausage and Cream Pizza
I enjoy a nice cream pizza, and I have made many variations on the theme over the years. I had never, however, found a good way to make a thick cream sauce without adding cheese as a thickener or trying to reduce the cream over heat before using it… until one of our customers turned me on to the The Mozza Cookbook. Nancy Silverton shared the simple secret she learned in Italy: whip the cream. That’s it. The whipped cream collapses in the pizza oven, but all the air inside it helps the moisture evaporate quickly and turns it into a wonderfully simple sauce.
In her book, she offers a recipe for Fennel Sausage, Panna and Scallions Pizza inspired by her favorite pizzeria in Umbria. This recipe is a simplified version of the same type of pizza.
Form one dough ball to roughly a 12-inch pizza crust. Depending on your personal preference, place the dough on a pizza peel with enough flour or corn meal beneath to allow the pizza to slide easily — or assemble your pizza on the work surface and then slide the peel underneath at the last minute. Either way, the less time the dough spends on the peel, the less likely it is to stick.
Use a soft spatula to spread the whipped cream onto the pizza. Top with sausage and onions. Transfer to the oven or grill and cook until the crust is done.
How to make pizza in the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven
(3 minute cooking time)
Preheat the oven with the upper and lower burner controls set to HIGH for 35 minutes. Turn the lower burner control to LOW before cooking your first pizza. Your total cooking time should be 2 to 3 minutes. Note: you can begin cooking in as little as 20 minutes, but your total cooking time will increase to as much as 5 minutes.
Transfer the pizza to the oven. The edge of the pie near the fire will cook the most quickly. Rotate the pizza a quarter turn as the crust near the fire reaches your desired color, about every 30 seconds. Check the bottom of the dough at every turn to evaluate the color. If the bottom of the dough reaches the desired cooking point, insert a pizza screen under the pizza to keep the crust from browning further. I like the bottom of my pizza to be golden brown with a smattering of black, caramelized accents. If you do find yourself using the screen, you may wish to switch to using a Tipo 00 Italian flour in your dough recipe. This flour, traditionally used in Neapolitan pizza, has a much higher burning point than conventional flour.
Remove and serve when the perimeter is golden brown and beginning to blister.
How to make pizza on the Grill
(10 minute cooking time)
Preheat the grill with the hood closed and a pizza stone on the grill grate in the indirect cooking zone until the stone is thoroughly heated to 500ºF. This can require up to 1 hour. (Most stones must be used in the indirect zone. Very few can be placed directly over the fire.)
Transfer the pizza to the stone. Close the hood and cook for about 10 minutes. Rotate as needed for even cooking. Remove from the grill when the crust is golden brown.
- 1/2 batch White Wine Pizza Dough, about 14 ounces
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped (I suggest whipping such a small amount by hand using a whisk)
- 2 Italian pork sausages, casings removed, broken down into pieces, and cooked (you can cook them in a pan over a cooktop or roast them in a cast iron skillet in a pizza oven)
- 2 green onions, sliced, green parts only