Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sausage & Arugula Pizza with Romesco Sauce

Romesco is a Spanish style red pepper sauce that is put together quick and has full, rich flavor. All Romesco sauce includes ground almonds, some sort of vinegar and bread. Mine includes fresh cherry heirloom tomatoes, balsamic roasted-red onions and garlic to make a great sauce for pizza or dipping. This recipe makes more than needed for one pizza, so make sure to use the rest drizzled on top of grilled potatoes, mixed with vegan mayo for dressing or as a dip with vegetables.

Crisp thick crust pizza with romesco sauce, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes, mint, arugula, vegan sausage and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Romesco Sauce
1/4 small red onion, quartered
10 cherry tomatoes
2 red bell peppers, seeded, quartered
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbl balsamic vinegar, divided
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup packed, torn bread pieces, no crust (white or sourdough..especially good to use stale bread)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 450. Combine the onion, tomatoes, red bell peppers and garlic on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 tbl of oil oil and 1 tbl of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until soft and caramelized.
In a food processor, blend the almonds and bread crumbs into fine crumbs with the paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and remaining 1 tbl of oil and 1 tbl of vinegar. Pulse until smooth.

Sausage and Arugula Pizza
1 ball fresh pizza dough
1 cup Romesco Sauce
3/4 cup Smart Grounds vegan ground beef
1/4 cup vegan mozzarella (like Follow Your Heart of Daiya), optional
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbl fresh chopped parsley
5 fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
2 cups baby arugula leaves

Preheat the oven to 475. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to heat up as well.
Press out the pizza dough on a floured counter into a large circle or square.
When the pizza stone has heated up, remove and transfer the dough to the stone. Top with sauce, then crumble the ground beef and mozzarella. Drizzle 1 tbl of oil around the crust.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust has cooked through.
Once the pizza is out of the oven, top with fresh tomatoes, parsley, mint and arugula with a drizzle of olive oil.

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