October is National Pizza Month. I mentioned it last year, but it’s been 12 whole months, and something as important as pizza shouldn’t go unmentioned. I mean, it’s pretty much the perfect food. Carbs, Dairy, Vegetables, Protein all in one easy-to-eat, delightfully delicious package. Now, this recipe is fine-tuned to taste like fall. If you want a more traditional pizza recipe, or if you’re looking for our signature pizza crust recipe, click on back to last October’s pizza post. That post also has some really good pizza tricks and tips if you’re looking to make an artisan pizza at home. It’s good to know. While pizza may seem like a plan B, homemade pizza is an AMAZING date night idea. Nothing brings people together like making something delicious together.
Are you as psyched to make this pizza as I am? I thought so. OK. Here’s what you need.
Ingredients – Makes 1 full sized, 2 personal, or 4 mini pizzas:
- 1 Batch of Pizza Dough (store bought, or our recipe here)
- 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 2 onions, sliced thinly
- 6 strips of bacon
- 8 oz soft goat cheese
- 1 bunch of sage
- Good olive oil, for garnish
- Honey, for garnish
- Salt and pepper, to taste
As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make this festive fall pizza. Sure, it’s a little non-traditional. If you want something closer to the pizza you grew up with, you can always do a thin swipe of marinara and sub out the goat cheese for mozzarella. You’ll still have the fall flavors of the squash, but with a more traditional flavor profile.
- Figure out what size pizza you’re going to make. For this post, we made mini pizzas. If I’m serving this as an appetizer, I make one large pizza and cut it into small squares for my guests. If I’m trying to put together an impressive date at home, I set out an array of toppings and we each do personal pizzas. Pick your pizza size and divide the dough accordingly. Split in half for personal pizzas or in quarters for minis. When you’re sure of your portions and the dough is cut, cover it in plastic wrap and let it rest. And remember. . .
- While that dough is resting (trust me – leave it alone) prep your veggies. Begin by caramelizing your sliced onions. Throw some oil in a pan, and when it’s warm, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until onions are a beautiful rich brown, not unlike the color of our Acaciaware®. Meanwhile, cook up that butternut squash. You can roast it, steam it, or saute it. Just make sure it’s cooked until tender.
- Now is also a fantastic time to cook your bacon. You’ll be finishing your pizza in the oven, so you don’t want to cook your bacon until crispy right now, but cook it until the edges begin to crisp and the center turns opaque. You’re going for floppy, half done bacon. When it’s cooked, chop it up into small pieces.
- Heat your oven to 450. Lay out all your ingredients. The French call this mise en place, which literally means “everything in place.” I use an assortment of bowls and plates to hold everything within easy reach – a small bowl filled with sage leaves, medium bowls for onions, softened goat cheese, and squash, a plate for the bacon, etc.
- Time to make your pizza. Roll or stretch your dough to the desired thickness. Since you’ve let your dough rest, it should be pliant and not springy. Here’s a great tutorial on dough shaping from our friends at The Kitchn. Remember that since the dough is made with yeast, it’ll rise in the oven and will always be a little thicker than you roll it. Make sure there’s parchment or a ton of cornmeal between the crust and your baking sheet.
- Assemble your pizzas. Here’s how I like to do mine: Smear of goat cheese on the bottom, then a sprinkling of the squash (making sure there are pieces in every bite.) Next, scatter the caramelized onions over the pizza and drizzle with a hint of honey, a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Add on the bacon, and maybe a few more dollops of bacon and some freshly torn sage leaves.
- Bake until done. I know that sounds vague, but let me break it down: The mini pizzas took about 10 minutes in my oven. A personal pizza takes about 15, and a full sized pizza takes between 20-25. But mostly I go by sight. If the cheese is brown around the edges, and the bottom of the crust is golden brown all the way across, and there’s slight charring on top, I’m happy.
Annnnnd there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Now you know how to make pizza. And not just any pizza, but a festive fall pizza that’ll make your tastebuds party. It’s a fantastic food if you’re throwing a Halloween bash, makes for a beautiful Thanksgiving appetizer, and is a pretty perfect weeknight meal, especially if you buy pre-made dough. Check back in all month for more delicious fall foods and festive autumn ideas. We’re covering everything from pumpkin bread (shown in the background of the above image) to caramel apples.
Oh! If you make any of these foods, or any other delicious fall treats, don’t forget to enter our #pmtcFallTable contest. Just snap a photo, post it to your favorite social media site and tag us. Or, if you want to enter but don’t want to cook, repost the photo below. For more details, click here! You’ve got until October 16 to enter!