Meat Lovers Pizza.
I’m still trying to figure out if I can survive on cookies for the next 27 days.
Since I probably can’t, but am not QUITE sure yet, I figure pizza is the next best bet.
On Thanksgiving morning I looked at Eddie and was like, “do you know what I really want to eat, like desperately want to eat?” He had no clue because I always want to eat everything, except all of the things he suggests of course, and so I said “pizza” and it was terrible because it was Thanksgiving and obviously I wasn’t going to eat pizza. For some reason, this made wanting pizza ten times worse.
I’m in a major pizza mode. This will continue until we go hog wild with the pizza, perhaps eating a version three times one week and then looking at one another and sighing with an “I’m good on pizza for awhile” comment.
It always happens. It’s one of our cyclical, predictable issues.
Words can’t describe how much I adore this pizza, though since I am annoyingly wordy I’m sure I will try. The thing is that my love for this pizza came as a shock. Well, okay, not as a shock – I knew I’d probably LIKE it, I knew it would taste good. But as I’ve said before a million times, I am the most boring pizza eater.
I mean, I like to make cool and unique pizzas. If I’m at a specialty pizza restaurant or something of the sort, I’ll make sure to have something with brussels and fontina and all that jazz. But when we order delivery pizza, it’s a constant battle because I just want to eat it PLAIN.
I want nothing on my pizza, unless it’s maybe bacon and extra cheese. I won’t be a brat about toppings – but I’ll pick everything off and push it to the side of my plate until my slice is plain. I’m the most basic pizza eater and it’s like I become a totally different person when I call to order it.
Wait. That’s a lie.
Because I also hate calling to order it and Eddie usually does it. Because I come from the internet generation where I loathe phones for all things other than texting and instagram stalking to the point where I CAN’T EVEN CALL FOR PIZZA. If someone asks me to call for pizza I practically break out in a cold sweat. Returning phone calls? Ha. Listening to voicemails? Double ha.
I know. I hate me too.
For the last five years, I’ve always said I hope this changes when I have kids. I mean, it has to.
I guess we will find out in a few days. (EEEK.)
We often order our pizzas split down the middle: half plain and half with pepperoni and sausage. But a few weeks ago I become fascinated with the idea of making my own meat lovers pizza, adding allllllll the meats and making it the most delicious thing in the universe.
So that’s what I did.
What we really have is a four meat, three cheese pizza covered in freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and fresh herbs. The herbs make it. They do. It’s just so… FRESH.
On to the dough went slightly crisped bacon, sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni and sliced prosciutto which I knew would crunch up perfectly in the oven. On top of that went fontina, provolone and parmesan, otherwise known as the holy trinity of cheeses and one killer melty combo.
I COULDN’T STOP EATING PIECES!
This found it’s way out of my oven early in the day, after all it gets dark by like 3PM here now. And by the time Eddie came home, I had gone back and eaten multiple pieces and just kept taking bites out of the perfectly cheesy, crisp squares.
That’s the other thing: sometimes I want slices. Sometimes I want squares. It just depends. I must complicated everything.
It’s worth it.
Meat Lovers Pizza
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 pound sweet italian sausage, removed from the casing
1/4 cup pepperoni pieces
6 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces provolone cheese, freshly grated
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus extra
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons freshly snipped chives
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (in this case I did a rectangular baking sheet) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel that's covered with a little bit of cornmeal. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until the fat is just rendered and the bacon is slightly crisp, but not fully cooked. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Remove the bacon grease from the skillet (I keep mine in a mason jar in the fridge....) and heat it over medium heat again. Add the sausage (without the casing) and cook until it's cooked through, breaking it apart in to tiny pieces with a wooden spoon. Once fully cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Brush the dough, especially the outside crust, with olive oil and spread the sauce all over the pizza. Add half of the fontina and provolone cheese. Place the pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto slices and bacon all over the pizza. Cover with the remaining cheese and parmigiano-reggiano. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pizza crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and cover with the extra grated parmesan, cilantro and chives. Slice into squares and serve!
As a side note, doesn’t this look eerily similar to my BBQ chicken French breads? Yes. You should probably make both.