The picture is horrible; the pizza was great! I have a confession: I’ve never made pizza before. It always seemed like one of those items best eaten at a restaurant. But the beauty of making pizza at home is that you can flavor it however you want. This recipe has more of a Mediterranean flat-bread feel. The best part is, you can cheat. I used a pre-cooked pizza dough from the grocery store. The toppings are what make this pizza special. Caramelized onions. Goat Cheese. Roasted Red Peppers. I used Italian Sausage, but feel free to omit this if you’re vegetarian. Topped with fresh basil leaves, this pizza is a delicious remedy for your mid-week slump.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 12 inch store bought pizza crust

4 oz chevre goat cheese

2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese

1/4 cup chopped Basil leaves plus 1/4 cup more

1 medium yellow onion (sliced)

2 red peppers

1/2 lb uncooked Italian sausage

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Grated parmesan

Olive oil

Salt

Freshly cracked Black Pepper

Method

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine goat cheese, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves. Season with Salt and pepper and reserve. Prepare red peppers by cutting down on all sides, discarding stems and fleshy white ribs inside. Arrange on a baking sheet. Then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to mix, and bake in oven at 425 for about 25-30 minutes or until slightly charred. In the meantime, remove sausage from casing and cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat, breaking up with your spoon to form 1/2 inch size pieces, until browned. Reserve. In the same pan, cook the sliced onions, seasoning with salt, until deeply caramelized. About ten or more minutes depending on your stove.  Once red peppers have cooked, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. This will help the skin peel off. Gently peel away the skin and reserve the tender flesh, cutting it into inch-long strips.

Arrange pizza by spreading goat cheese mixture over pizza crust. Layer with caramelized onions, then sausage, then roasted red peppers. Top with shredded mozzarella. Once pizza is arranged, drizzle olive oil around the crust and over the toppings. Season with a little salt over the toppings, and grated parmesan around the crust. Bake in oven at 425 for about 10-12 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove and immediately top with remaining basil leaves. Enjoy!

Note: Part of this recipe involves roasting your own peppers; some find this tedious. Feel free to use jarred roasted red peppers if you wish!

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