Happy New Year!
I know it’s been a little quiet here, and I never got the chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas or recap the best recipes of the year. It’s because we spent the holidays with my in-laws in Florida, and I thought that I would have time to blog while there and have some free time. It never happened (the blogging that is), but there was plenty of free time. The kids loved the spending time with their grandparents, and Lorenzo and I got to take a much needed break from the busyness of our hectic schedule, too.
I hope you all celebrated the holidays in whatever way fits you best. My favorite New Year tradition is having a fancy steak dinner at home. Lorenzo and I cooked together for our tasty dinner, salsa danced in our living room with our kiddos and watched a funny movie till midnight. We even drank an entire bottle of wine. I highly recommend watching “We’re the Millers” if you haven’t seen it already, I might have laughed my face off. Having two kids under the age of two makes us find new ways to entertain ourselves at home. This out of this world pizza is another new favorite meal of mine to make whenever I want a fancy-ish meal. This pizza takes a couple of your favorite elements of any meal – vodka sauce, roasted tomatoes and a couple more pizza ingredients to another yummy level. Pair it with your fave bottle of wine or beverage of choice and a simple salad – you have a scrumptious meal that you might be making over and over again.
Pizza alla Vodka
Adapted from Pink Parsley
- For the roasted tomatoes:
- 1 heaping cup chopped tomatoes, grape or roma
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the vodka sauce:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, chopped finely
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- For the pizza:
- 1 pound pizza dough
- cornmeal for sprinkling
- olive oil for brushing
- 2 links spicy sausage (pork, chicken or turkey will work)
- 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, place a baking stone on the bottom rack.
- Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, sugar and salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the tomatoes in the oven while the oven preheats. Roast them for 15 to 20 minutes, making sure to stir them every 5 minutes or until they are browned, caramelized and have released most of their liquid. Make sure to keep a watchful eye on them because they will burn easily. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and transfer the baking stone to the top rack. Keep the oven on as you prepare the remaining parts of the pizza.
- Prepare the vodka sauce. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, tomato paste and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds or less. Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes, and bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vodka and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
- Remove the sausage from its casings, crumble and cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until fully cooked and browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain off as much fat as you can, set aside.
- Sprinkle a large square of parchment paper with cornmeal and lay the pizza dough on top. Stretch and pull and roll into a 14-inch round. Lightly drizzle olive oil on top of the pizza. Spread 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the vodka sauce over the dough. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, followed by the spicy sausage of your choice, roasted tomatoes and the Parmesan cheese.
- Transfer the pizza with parchment paper to the preheated baking stone, and cook for 10 to 11 minutes, make sure to rotate the pizza 180 degrees after 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, garnish with the chopped basil, slice and serve. Pass the remaining vodka sauce at the table for dipping if you like.
Review: Absolutely sensational and you need to make this pizza ASAP. This meal has already been made three times, and this photo is from my third time making it! Between Lorenzo and I – we can finish the entire pizza!