Sausage & Arugula Skillet Pizza
TGIF! It’s almost Friday and that means pizza night around the Grandy house! Get out your cast iron skillet and let’s cook us up some PIZZA! Let’s just backtrack here, you’re asking me if I said cast iron skillet, right? Why yes I did, you are going to cook this pizza in a cast iron skillet.
This is me telling you to go out and purchase yourself a cast iron skillet. You don’t need to get a fancy name brand one like Le Creuset (those cost $150 and up). Pick up a Lodge Logic. The 12-inch skillet is only $29 and the 10-inch is only $20. Here is a link to Sur La Table where you can check out the pricing and features. Lodge Logic is the traditional cast iron pan that your grandmother had. These pans rock and I am cooking everything in my cast iron skillet lately from breads & pizzas to meats.
Lets get back to this pizza. This pizza is family and kid approved, I mean like totally! The bottom of the pizza and the crust gets all brown and crispy from cooking in the cast iron pan, the sausage adds a bit of spiciness to the pizza and the homemade sauce is amazing and so fresh tasting. I am actually going to use this pizza sauce recipe going forward because it’s so easy and so DELISH! We honestly felt like we were eating at a fancy pizzeria.
The best part of baking the pizza in the cast iron skillet was that I did not have to roll out any dough! I always hated that part.
Sausage & arugula skillet pizza
adapted from Martha Stewart living
Makes one 12-inch pizza
- 2 sweet Italian sausages or 6 ounces sweet Italian sausage – see photo below for what I used
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound store bought or homemade pizza dough – I used Trader Joe’s pizza dough
- 3 whole peeled canned tomatoes, crushed – I used San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- fresh mozzarella cheese – thinly sliced
Note: Most store bought pizza dough’s are 1 pound. You can use the whole pound of pizza dough; I did the first time I made this pizza. It will be a thicker pizza in general, but it will still taste great. I used 3/4 pound the next time I made the pizza and it was a bit thinner and less doughy in spots, which I preferred.
I used these classic Italian sausages. You can honestly use any type of Italian sausages. These were great as they are nitrate free, raised without antibiotics and with no added hormones. They were also fully cooked so all I had to do was heat up the meat after I took the meat out of it’s casing.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Remove sausages from their casings. All you have to do to remove the sausage from it’s casing is to cut a slit down the length of the sausage and then peel it open and remove the sausage. You are going to literally push and tear it out of it’s casing. You might have some casing left on the sausage, but it doesn’t matter.
Sauté the sausage over high heat until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces.
Remove the cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the grease.
Slice up your mozzarella, mince up your garlic & toss up your arugula with a splash of olive oil and set aside.
Put the 3 peeled tomatoes into a small bowl.
Crush the tomatoes with a fork and your fingers if needed. Don’t be afraid to get your hands messy.
Add the 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1-tablespoon olive oil, 1/4-teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the crushed tomatoes, mix them all together.
Brush a 12-inch cast iron skillet with 1-teaspoon olive oil. Press dough flat in the skillet, spreading to the edge.
John thought it was cool to take an overhead shot of me pressing the dough. He was aiming the camera in all sorts of directions. I think this shot below came out sort of cool!
Spread the tomato mixture over the dough.
Cook over medium-high heat until the bottom of dough is golden brown. The recipe called for 3-4 minutes but mine took more like 5 minutes. We like ours a bit more browned. To check the dough, just take a spatula and lift up the side of the dough to see the bottom.
Once the pizza crust is browned on the bottom, transfer the pizza to the preheated oven and bake for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, remove the pizza from the oven and scatter the mozzarella and sausage on top. REMEMBER TO WEAR AN OVEN MITT WHEN TOUCHING THE CAST IRON PAN AS ITS HOT! Pop the pizza back in the oven.
Cook the pizza for about 8-10 more minutes until the edge of the crust is golden brown.
Slide the pizza out of the cast iron skillet onto a cutting board. Folks, I have had this cast iron pan for 2 months now and it’s virtually non-stick. My pizza slid right out of the pan when I tipped it to the side, so don’t fret about your crust sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Garnish pizza with the fresh arugula.
Cut into individual slices and serve up with a fresh tossed salad or vegetable of your choice.
We liked this pizza so much that my kid’s requested I make it again the next day for lunch!
Needless to say, it was devoured!
If you like skillet pizzas then try my deep-dish pepperoni skillet pizza.