I know it’s been a long, long, LONG time since I posted. Especially a recipe. Last year I went through a bunch of digestive issues that ultimately resulted in my finding out that I’m extremely sensitive to xanthan and guar gum and lots of other nasty additives in so much of our food system (but not gluten, despite what I thought for a while). Then my hubby and I went on vacation, which was awesome. And then I had so much work (with my business) that I was doing nothing but work and sleep. And then…
Well, then, my friends, I found out I was pregnant. 😉
It was just a week after my last big event for several months, a day or two before our unprecedented heat streak in Southern California… And three days after I started feeling flu-like symptoms (in my defense, my coworkers at my day job had all had the flu the week before). It was 5 am. And of course I woke my husband up (sorry honey!). And then? Well, then I pretty much slept for three months.
I couldn’t go in our kitchen – the mere whiff of the sink or the trash can (even if it were freshly changed) or the fridge made me gag. And it was extremely hot (like, minimum high 90s) for weeks on end. We have no air conditioner at home, so my only relief was going to work!
Anyway, it’s just been since I hit the second trimester that I’ve really started cooking again. I can look at (some) raw meat without wanting to lose it. And I can stand in the kitchen without being a mess. It helps that it’s cooler (it was lovely and rainy today!). Because, of course, it’s fall.
And I can’t let a perfectly good fall go by without making something with butternut squash.
I started planning this out in my head last weekend, but it was warm again for most of this week, and we were busy (my business is in full swing again for the next month). So it got put on hold. But I was thrilled to try it tonight.
Oh BOY was it worth the wait! This pizza has all the elements of a beautiful Fall meal in one easy package… And it’s so, so incredible tasting… I’d been dreaming about this pizza from the moment I conceptualized it, and it lived up to every single expectation!
Elisa’s Butternut Squash Pizza
- 1 medium (approx. 10″) homemade pizza crust, par-baked
- 1 1/2 tsp butter
- 4-8 leaves of fresh sage, chiffonade
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- flesh of 1/2 medium cooked butternut squash (approx. 1 1/4 cups, smashed)
- 1 tsp corn starch (optional)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 uncooked Italian sausage links (we love Trader Joes’ Sweet Chicken Italian)
- approx. 1 cup greens (we used spinach because it’s what we had on-hand but kale or other winter greens would be lovely here)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5-6 oz grated mozzarella cheese
- fresh ground black pepper and salt
This recipe takes a little prep (but nothing like my past dabbles into butternut squash!). It’s easier if you can finish all the prep work first and then assemble. So here goes:
In a small pan over medium heat, cook butter and sage together until butter is almost browned and sage is fried crisp. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so (but don’t let the butter get black). Mash the browned butter together with the butternut squash, crushing the garlic and sage so that they incorporate well throughout. Add a few grinds of black pepper (I used approx. 1/4 tsp but you might find that you like more). If your squash is very watery, you might need to add some starch as a thickener.
Caramelize your onions; try to get them soft and brown but not crisp or burnt. The best way to do this is actually to throw them in a small baking dish with a bit of fat (butter or oil, just enough to keep them from sticking to the pan) and some salt and let them bake, covered, while the butternut squash roasts. This can be done in a crock pot or stove top too, of course! 😉
Wilt your spinach or other greens with a tiny bit of oil in a pan. We don’t want to add too much extra oil to this dish, since we already have the butter, but you will need to add the oil to keep it from sticking.
Spread the squash mixture in a thin layer on the crust. Add onions over the top. Top with dollops of sausage and wilted greens. Spread parmesan and mozzarella cheese over the top of the whole pizza and bake at 450 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Devour.
Fall has never tasted so good. 😉