August 8th, 2013
Pizza!! A large majority of people, if not everyone, loves pizza. Pizza is open to an amazing variety of different sauces, cheeses, and toppings. When we normally think of any kind of sausage pizza, we typically have an image of a pizza loaded with crumbled Italian sausage meat. A sausage pizza with sliced pieces of sausage never even occurred to me until about half a year ago. I had ordered a sausage pizza and discovered that it had sliced sausage evenly arranged on it! Needless to say, it was a neighborhood Lynn pizza shop that was using Old Neighborhood Italian Sausage.
I am not sure how many of you felt guilty shortly after eating the pizza, remembering all the cheese and grease loaded on the pizza, not knowing exactly what was put on each slice that you devoured. However, when you make a pizza at home, you get the peace of mind that you know exactly what you just ate, especially if you’re someone that is carefully watching your sodium, fat, and caloric intake.
I recently made a relatively simple pizza at home, adding a slight twist to the simple margherita pizza. Although I slacked a bit and bought a premade crust instead of making my own pizza dough, I can still say this was a pizza with no guilt. I opted to use Thin ‘n Trim Wildfire Buffalo Chicken Sausage simply because I wanted a hint of spiciness. Of course Thin ‘n Trim Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage was also an option, but I actually dislike fennel seeds in all their glory. Don’t forget that Thin ‘n Trim chicken sausages only have 70 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per link. Between all seven great flavors that Thin ‘n Trim carries, they are all low in sodium, ranging between 210 – 250 mg of sodium per link. Compare that to other chicken sausage brands and Thin ‘n Trim is a sure winner for low sodium chicken sausages. I don’t even have to mention how they compare to pork sausages.
Well, if you’ve read through my ramblings, then you can now rejoice, because the recipe follows! (And it can be found as a simple recipe page!)
Buffalo Chicken Margherita Pizza
2 links of Thin ‘n Trim Wildfire Buffalo Chicken Sausage
1 hothouse tomato
3 oz. of fresh mozzarella
1 cup marinara sauce
1 tbsp. shredded mozzarella (optional)
1 12″ pizza crust
1 tsp. olive oil
fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. If you are using a baking stone, be sure to keep that in the oven as the oven is preheating.
2. Cut the 2 links of Thin ‘n Trim into 1/4-inch slices.
3. (optional) If you want the chicken sausage slices to have a slight crunch, heat a pan over medium high on the stovetop. When heated, add the chicken sausage slices, and brown them on both sides. Set aside. Note: no oil was used here!
4. Cut the tomato horizontally, into 1/4 inch slices, much like you?re slicing them for sandwiches.
5. Cut the fresh mozzarella into slices as well.
6. Lay the pizza crust on a clean surface.
7. Brush 1 tsp. of olive oil over the pizza crust, making sure to stay about 1/2 inch from the edge all around.
8. Spread marinara sauce over the pizza crust.
9. Add mozzarella slices, followed by basil leaves* and tomato slices.
10. Top the pizza with the chicken sausage slices.
11. Slide the pizza into the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes, unless your crust directions say otherwise. *Note: About 5 minutes in, I topped the pizza with 1 tbsp. of shredded mozzarella.
12. When the pizza is done baking, take it out of the oven, cut it into slices, and serve!
*I initially had the basil leaves on top of the pizza. However, when I opened the oven to add the shredded mozzarella, I noticed that the basil leaves were burning quickly, so I realized I needed to add them under the tomatoes if I wanted them in the oven. Otherwise, you can add shredded basil leaves after the pizza is done baking.