A few weekends ago, I had dinner with some friends at PALA Pizza on Allen St. This is officially one of my new favorite places to eat in the city. A full half of their menu is vegan, and even their non-vegan items can be made gluten-free, making this pretty much the perfect restaurant to go to with people of any type of dietary concerns. While there, I had their pizza "funghi e salsiccia," otherwise known as "mushroom and sausage," topped with Field Roast Italian Sausage, mushrooms, Daiya cheese, and hot peppers. YUM. I went crazy for this pizza, but the best testament to its tastiness was that it completely fooled one of the meat-eaters at the table. She just couldn't believe that it was vegan. I love those moments when a non-vegan realizes that vegan food can actually be awesome.
So needless to say, I've been dreaming about their sausage pizza ever since. I made my own version of it last night, and while it wasn't as good as PALA's, it was pretty darn good. Full confession: I bought Whole Foods' own brand of fresh whole wheat pizza dough and pizza sauce. It was Friday night, I was exhausted from working all week, and I wanted something quick to make for dinner. Yes, I could have made my own dough, and my own sauce, but I was too tired. Don't judge me.
I sauteed in olive oil half a red onion, two chopped cloves of garlic, some crushed red pepper flakes, about a cup of sliced mushrooms, and two Trader Joe's Italian Sausages, cut into slices. (The Field Roast Italian Sausages are much tastier, but the Trader Joe's brand is a decent and less expensive substitute, and that's what I had on hand.) I used half the amount of dough from Whole Foods, to make a thinner crust. I rolled it out onto a pizza pan, topped it with an even layer of sauce, and then with the sausage/mushroom/onion mixture. Sprinkle some grated soy mozzarella on top and then bake it in a preheated oven at 450 for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted on top and the crust is golden brown. When it comes out, top with a chiffonade of fresh basil. It serves two people, and I still have enough ingredients for another pizza today.
This was super delicious and so easy to make I had it ready in time to watch the Hope for Haiti telethon. And speaking of Haiti, I'm signed up to make carrot cupcakes on January 31st at the Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti at Moo Shoes. If you haven't signed up yet for a bake sale in your city, there's still time!