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Homemade Pizza with Italian Sausage and Fresh Basil

Homemade Pizza w/ Italian Sausage and Fresh Basil

½ recipe Basic Pizza Dough (premade), or use store bought pizza dough
1 cup tomato sauce
6-8 halves slow roasted tomatoes, depending on size
8 ounces Boulder Sausage (Hot or Regular) Italian ground sausage, cooked and crumbled
6-8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fairly fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
a pinch of sea salt
⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1. Prepare pizza dough as directed or use purchased roll of pizza dough.

2. While dough is rising, prepare sauce; combine garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

3. Place a pizza stone or pan on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475°F for 30 minutes, you want the stone to be blazing hot (this simulates a pizza oven).

4. Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper about the size of your pizza stone lightly with cornmeal and place it on a pizza paddle or on a large cutting board. Set aside.

5. On a slightly floured work surface, flatten the dough with your hands. Start at the center and work outwards, using your fingers to press and stretch the dough outwards to a 10-12 inch circle. If the dough resists stretching, let it rest for a few minutes, this relaxes the gluten in the flour and makes the dough easier to work with.

6. Fold dough in half and then in quarters and transfer to prepared parchment paper. Unfold dough and reshape as needed,

7. Spread dough evenly with sauce and then distribute the mozzarella on top. Nestle Italian sausage and slow roasted tomatoes in between the slices of cheese. Let pizza rest for 20-30 minutes before placing in oven.

8. Carefully open oven and slide parchment paper and dough onto the preheated stone. Bake for 5- 7 minutes or until golden brown. Check after 5 minutes and turn pizza if one side is getting too brown.

9. Remove pizza from oven, cut and enjoy!

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