This was another Bunko night experiment! My mom found this recipe in the August 2008 issue of Georgia Magazine, put out by Flint Energies. There was an article titled "Cream of the Crop" by Jennifer Hewett, talking about Georgia native food contest winners and their recipes. One recipe was for Mediterranean Pizza with Cheese-Stuffed Crust from Barbara Williams; a 2008 Pillsbury Bake-Off finalist from Lawrenceville.
We read this recipe and just had to try it. We modified it a little by substituting Pillsbury pizza crust with just a regular store brand pizza dough, switched the spicy pork sausage for turkey sausage, and subbed sun-dried tomatoes for drained diced tomatoes. We also added a sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese, and subbed shredded mozzarella for shredded muenster cheese, because you can never have enough cheese.
Complete list of ingredients:
1-1/2 tablespoons cornmeal
1(13.8-ounce) can refrigerated classic pizza crust
7 pieces (1 ounce each) mozzarella string cheese
1/4 cup tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano (or just regular tomato sauce)
1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves
1/2 pound bulk turkey sausage
1/3 cup diced tomatoes
1(10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/4 cup sliced black olives
Hand full of sliced green olives
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded muenster cheese
Hand full of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic salt
What we did:
Heat the oven to 425 o, spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.
Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over the pan and unroll pizza crust dough onto the pan.
Press dough to at least 1 inch beyond edge of pan, then place string cheese on dough along the inside edge of the crust.
Fold edge of dough over the cheese, press the dough down firmly and presto! instant stuffed crust. Pinch dough to seal. Spread tomato sauce evenly over dough.
Sprinkle with basil leaves. At this point basil makes the kitchen smell so good!
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Then add sausage, cook stirring frequently until no longer pink; drain off any grease. Reduce heat to medium and stir in drained dice tomatoes and drained spinach. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes more until everything is heated through. Spoon the sausage mixture evenly over basil on crust.
Then top with sliced black and green olives, feta cheese, muenster cheese, and just a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Brush the crust with the olive oil and sprinkle Italian seasoning and garlic salt onto the crust.
Finally stick the pizza in the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is deep golden brown.
As you can tell by the before and after pictures, the pizza turned out great! It tasted superb. Everyone at Bunko loved the pizza, and we used the left over sausage mixture to make omelettes the next day. I will have to blog this recipe next.