Homemade Pizza Sausage

by Susan on February 6, 2013

The boy brought home a rather curious book from the school library yesterday. While he usually eschews non-fiction, something prompted him to choose Hot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog. It’s actually a pretty interesting read, and does give a nod at the end about not eating too many and seeking out healthier varieties (though I disagree with the author’s recommendation of “veggie” dogs, most of which are usually loaded with GMO soy products).

I posted my feeling on hot dogs over the summer. I do let my kids eat them, as long as I know what’s in them. I feel the same way about sausage. I often make and share meals using sausage, as there are many healthy varieties available these days. I love the store-made varieties that Whole Foods sells, but also like the various flavors of organic chicken sausage that are becoming more readily available.

Tonight I decided to go one step further, though, and make my own. Cooking Light’s Atsa Spicy Pizza Sausage recipe is easy and yields a really large batch, so you can freeze some for later. I think I’ll use the leftovers for stuffed mushrooms or a ragout, but tonight’s batch was used for its intended purpose: pizza.

My kids haven’t really ever eaten sausage pizza, as I’m a little sketched out by the kind most pizza places use. They also don’t like things too spicy, so I liked that I could control the level of kick in my own creation. I wouldn’t necessarily dub my version “atsa spicy” but rather nicely seasoned ;).

You can use any ground meat here, though I do think combining the lean turkey with pork yields a very authentic sausage flavor. The key is the spices, so don’t skimp in that department! While I did include the recommended Parmesan cheese, since it’s only 2 tbs. I definitely think you could make this recipe dairy-free. As written it’s gluten and grain-free; I served it on a homemade gluten-free crust with a mixture of traditional and dairy-free mozzarella.

Added bonus for the cook: if you need to crack open a nice bottle of chianti for the 1/2 cup used in the sausage, then you already have your mealtime beverage corked and ready to go!

Homemade Pizza Sausage
adapted from Cooking Light

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbs. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbs. fennel seeds
3/4 – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
5 minced garlic cloves

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook meat until browned, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Drain.

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