Butternut Squash Pizza
This pizza might not be the quickest one, but it is a labor of love. One that’s quite worth it, we might add. The nutty sweetness of the butternut squash and caramelized onions joins forces with the hot Italian sausage and pungent fontina, making for a decadent combination. Crusty, spicy, sweet, salty, all contrasted with tons of texture. Need we say more?
1 store-bought pizza dough
1 Local Roots butternut squash
1 small white onion
1 link Local Roots hot Italian sausage
1 wedge fontina cheese (about 8 oz.), crumbled
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 Tbsp. Local Roots butter
Cornmeal (for sprinkling)
Flour (for sprinkling)
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil, torn
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut the squash into 1” cubes, cutting off the top and bottom first. Using a knife, peel the tough skin off the squash, and slice into two parts. Slice the round part in half, scoop out the seeds, and set aside (roasted squash seeds make for a great snack!). Chop the remaining squash pieces into cubes.
- Toss squash in 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until cooked through, but not mushy. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, peel onion and cut into thin slices. Set a large pan over medium heat and cook onions with 1 Tbsp. olive oil for ten minutes until translucent. Add a generous pinch of salt (optional: add a pinch of sugar to help caramelize). Lower heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions have softened and taken on a deep caramel color. Before removing from heat, add a 1 Tbsp. of butter and stir until combined. Set aside.
- Once cooled, wipe out pan and set over medium heat. Remove sausage from casing and crumble into pan. Let brown undisturbed for one minute, then using a wooden spoon, break apart into small pieces. Cook through (about five minutes) and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Lightly flour a clean surface and stretch or roll dough to fit a large baking sheet (it doesn’t need to reach the edges). Top with cheese, sausage, squash, and onions, taking care to leave room for crust. Brush the edges with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and top with fresh basil.
Recipe and Photos by Local Roots Volunteer Jess Santoro (@jess_santoro)