(Local) Pizza Pizza
I’ve already mentioned that pizza is a weekly ritual for my husband and I, but we try to keep it as healthy as possible by making our own crust and using “good for you” toppings.
A few weeks ago I had the idea, thanks to a Rachel Ray magazine from last fall, to use one of my favorite fall staples, squash, of course, as a topping. Her recipe called for ricotta cheese in place of a traditional pizza sauce but I found that it left the pizza a little plain. So, last weekend, I came back for round two using a local smoked cheddar instead of the ricotta and added some fresh thyme to give it more flavor. This one was Yum-O!
Whole Wheat Squash Pizza
1 spaghetti squash
1-2 tbps. olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tbsp. nutmeg
1 whole wheat pizza dough (I love this one at 101cookbooks)
2 tsps. fresh thyme
1/2 cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly shredded
Pre-heat oven to 400. Slice squash in half, rub the inside with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and place flesh side down in a baking dish. Bake until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool enough to touch, then use a fork to scrape spaghetti-like strings into a bowl.
Turn the oven temp up to 450 and place pizza stone in the oven. (I don’t have a pizza peel to gracefully slide my pizza onto the pre-heated stone, so I use a baking sheet covered with corn meal and/or flour to prep the pizza.) Roll out, or hand toss if you are so inclined, the dough to your desired thickness and drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of thyme. Top with the smoked cheddar and about 1/3 of the squash, then finish with the Parmesan and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Gently slide your pizza onto the pre-heated stone in the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. This is about as local as pizza can get in the northeast this time of year and it tasted fabulous!