Cast Iron Pizza, Two Ways

February 12, 2019 Updated: February 12, 2019

Our most romantic at-home date nights are the ones when we’re both in the kitchen, glasses of wine in hand, making a meal together. These cast iron pizzas are not only delicious, but also so much fun to make side by side.

Sausage and Honey Pizzas

Don’t knock it till you try it—this spicy and sweet combo is unexpected but makes so much sense once you take that first bite.

Makes two 10-inch pizzas

  • One 1-pound store-bought pizza dough ball, halved
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 5 1/3 ounce spicy Italian ground sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 Serrano chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Red pepper flakes for topping (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and position a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dust a work surface with flour and roll half the pizza dough into a 10-inch circle. Sprinkle flour in the skillet and place the dough in it.

While the bottom of the pizza cooks, add the toppings: Spread 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Distribute 1/2 cup of the mascarpone cheese by dropping about 10 spoonfuls over the sauce. Spread half the cooked sausage over the top.

Once the bottom of the pizza is set and lightly browned, transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Top with 1 tablespoon of the honey, half the Serrano slices, and half the parsley.

Serve with red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cut into slices and serve! Repeat, making a second pizza with the remaining ingredients.

Special Ingredient: If you have trouble finding mascarpone, use ricotta or even fresh mozzarella.

Arugula Pesto Pizza Insalata

My husband, George and I love splitting a pizza and a salad at our favorite local Italian place—and this Pesto Pizza Insalata combines both into one dish.

Makes two 10-inch pizzas

For the arugula pesto: 

  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the pizza insalata:

  • One 1-pound store-bought pizza dough ball, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese, torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, torn into strips

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and position a rack in the upper third of the oven.

To make the arugula pesto: In a food processor or blender, combine the arugula, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly add the oil. Process until smooth.

To make the pizza insalata: Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dust a work surface with flour and roll half the dough into a 10-inch circle. Sprinkle flour in the skillet and place the dough in it.

While the bottom of the pizza cooks, add the toppings: Spread 1/4 cup of the pesto over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese and half the burrata cheese over the pizza.

Once the bottom of the pizza is set and lightly browned, transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the arugula with the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and salt.

Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Add half the prosciutto to the pizza. Cut the pizza into slices and pile half the salad on top. Repeat, making a second pizza with the remaining ingredients.

Special Ingredient: One container of burrata is usually 6 to 8 ounces and contains two 3- to 4-ounce burrata balls. If you can only find a 6-ounce container, that works, too.

Reprinted from “Just Married” by Caroline Chambers with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018.

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