October is national pizza month, and although I honestly have been a little too busy closing up our two houses and with our olive harvest to celebrate it as I wanted to, I did manage to create this pizza using some of my favorite fall ingredients. Pumpkin, sage, and sausage work together well, whether they are used in a pasta dish, a tasty stew, or on a pizza such as this one. I also included Taleggio cheese which is an Italian cheese that melts really well and has a subtle musty, yet delicious flavor. It is also my favorite Italian cheese!
I make my own pizza dough using THIS recipe, but if you are short on time, feel free to use a store bought pizza dough. I also prefer a very fresh tasting tomato sauce for my pizza and use either Mutti or Pomi brand chopped tomatoes. I do not cook my sauce, but simply add some finely chopped garlic, dried oregano, fresh basil, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
I find it best to roast the pumpkin first since the baking time is quite short and you want to ensure that the pumpkin is very tender. I also precook my sausage before I use it on pizza again to ensure it is fully cooked.
Here in Umbria, it is much more common to pair a tasty pizza with beer rather than with wine, and if you dining at a pizzeria you will even see 80 year old Nonna’s enjoying a cold beer with their pizza. Our favorite brand of beer at home is Moretti beer, and it works amazingly well with any type of pizza you match it with.
- 1 (14 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt & Pepper To Taste,
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
- 2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive OIl
- 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
- 2 Cups Diced Fresh Pumpkin
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 3 Links Italian Sausage, Casings Removed
- 8 Medium Fresh Sage Leaves, Torn
- 4 Ounces Taleggio Cheese, Diced
- 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 (8 ounce) Balls Pizza Dough
- In a bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients then stir well, cover, and let set for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly toss the diced pumpkin with two tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the pumpkin out onto a baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning over halfway, until the pumpkin is tender and lightly browned. I
- In a frying pan or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, and cook the sausage until no longer pink.
- Season with black pepper and set aside. Preheat your oven to the highest setting (usually 500 degrees F.).
- For Each Pizza: On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to press your dough out to a 12 inch circle.
- Lightly cover a baking sheet (or pizza peel if using a pizza stone) with cornmeal, and place the dough on top.
- Lightly brush the outer edge of the pizza with olive oil, then spoon some of the sauce into the center and smooth with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1 inch border all around.
- Scatter half the two cheeses over the sauce, then scatter half the pumpkin and sausage over that.
- Scatter the sage leaves over the pizza, and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
- Finish the second pizza in the same fashion and serve immediately after baking.