The sauce on the pizza sold at my office cafeteria is not particularly delicious, but it IS strangely-colored and the pale orange color made me think that a butternut squash puree might be pretty delicious on a pizza. So I made one! The toppings are up to you. I'll just give the pizza dough and sauce recipes here. The pizza dough recipe isn't even that crucial, so if there's one you like, use that. This one makes a really nice airy but crisp dough - i happen to like big air bubbles around the crust, but maybe that's just me. Depending on how much sauce you use, you will probably wind up with excess sauce, but it's equally good on pasta! —solmstea
2 medium pizzas
Dry active yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups
Semolina or rough cut corn meal
Butternut squash sauce
Large butternut squash (frozen works just as well)
Roma tomatoes or 1 15 oz can of whole or crushed tomatoes
Large cloves of garlic (or to taste)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoons
Cayenne (optional, to taste)
Dried basil (optional)
In This Recipe
Dissolve the yeast, salt, and sugar into the water. Mix in the olive oil.
Mix in flour with a spoon until you have a soft dough, but not so sticky that it's unmanageable.
Place the dough in a clean, well-oiled bowl (cooking spray can work well for this) and let sit at room temperature for an hour. Then refrigerate for another hour or as long as overnight. While the dough is in the fridge, make the sauce and get the toppings ready.
When ready to make the pizzas, punch down the dough and divide in two. Spread the pizza to the desired size and let rest on a surface dusted with coarse semolina or cornmeal. If you don't have either of these, then flour works fine as well, though I like the rough texture that the semolina provides.
Butternut squash sauce
If using a fresh squash, cut it in half, lightly rub with olive oil, and roast at 350 degrees F until easily pierced with a fork at the thick ends (~30 - 45 minutes). Also roast the roma tomatoes if using fresh ones (so that the skin is easy to remove).
When soft, scoop the squash from the skin with a spoon. Place in a bowl.
Skin the roast tomatoes or open the can of tomatoes.
Dice the garlic and shallot and fry in a little bit of oil (2 - 3 tsp) until translucent or very lightly browned. If you don't have a food processor, do this step in a medium sauce pan.
The next step can be done one of two ways: If you have a food processor, add all the ingredients to the food processor and make a puree. If you don't have a food processor, add all remaining ingredients to the pan with the garlic and shallots and squish the squash and tomatoes into a sauce with the back of a wooden spoon. Let simmer until it looks well combined. I've never been a fan of oregano or thyme, but if you like those, you could add those here. If I didn't have fresh basil to put on top of the pizza, I might be inclined to mix some into the sauce at this point.
Now the sauce is ready to use! Simple toppings will allow you to taste the sauce more, but it works equally well with flavorful toppings. In the picture above it is topped with 3/4 units shredded mozzarella, 1/4 unit shredded parmesan, blobs of herb-encrusted goat cheese, anchovies, and spinach leaves (which I put under the cheese so it doesn't get dried out when I bake it)
Bake the pizza at 400 - 450 F on a pizza stone for about 15 - 25 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned. Cooking time will depend partly on how much topping you put on the pizza (less is often more).
I like to cook simply, especially cooking with things I can find (or at the very least, find at the farmers market which, in SoCal, contains every kind of produce on earth!). I like ingredients like lambsquarters, which grow in every alley and once-tilled ditch but are overlooked as weeds. Or I like scuba diving for lobster - lobster you catch with your bare hands just tastes Great! Generally, I don't like overly fussy recipes and tend to just improvise with whatever I have on hand and few meals come out of my kitchen without green garlic, cayenne, orange zest, or either fresh mint or dill.