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Italian Sausage and Peppers Pizza

I am always trying to dream up a new way to eat pizza. We have pizza almost every week, and usually end up with one our old favorites like peperoni and black olive or ham and pineapple. But I like to change up the toppings whenever I can. For this pizza I made over the weekend, I wanted to try and combine two of our favorite Italian comfort foods, pizza and sausage and peppers. I used ground Italian sausage, colorful red peppers, fresh basil and sweet onions. I made my own pizza crust and sauce, but you could make this recipe even easier by buying a pre-made pizza crust and your favorite jarred pizza sauce.

Italian Sausage and Peppers Pizza

Ingredients

For the crust

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 4 cups flour
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste, I like Cento brand
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon Italian Blend dried seasonings (oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, and sage) (Or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
a little pinch of red pepper flake, optional

For the Toppings

1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, sliced
1 lb ground Italian sausage, browned
about 2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Method

1. Combine warm water, yeast, honey, salt, onion and garlic powder in your stand mixer. Mix until yeast dissolves. Turn mixer to low and add flour until dough starts to pull away from bowl. Knead for about 10 minutes. Dough should be sticky. Grease a large metal bowl with olive oil. Form dough into a ball and transfer to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise about 2 hours in a warm place. Punch down, from into a ball again and let rise again until it doubles in size.

2. Brown ground Italian sausage. Combine all ingredients for sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally until ready to use. Preheat oven to highest temperature, mine is 550 degrees. Spread pizza dough onto a stone or pan. Dough will make one thick crust, or 2 thinner crusts. Pre-bake crust in a 550 degree oven until lightly browned. Remove from oven.

3. Add sauce on top of pizza. Add a big handful of cheese, fresh basil, and all other toppings, ending with the cheese.

4. Bake pizza at oven’s highest temperature (mine is 550 degrees) until golden brown.

Try these fun-shaped snack for the kids: Pizza Fingers!

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