Love this time of year. October is not only a beautiful harvest month but love the changing leaves, comfy sweaters and all the fall flavours. Mother Nature has spoiled us the past few days with beautiful summer weather. Yesterday, my husband fired up our outdoor wood oven for a family pizza party. We made three varieties of pizza's to satisfy everyones taste buds. I am sharing this specific one as it was the family winner. This pumpkin pizza was inspired by our family trip to Tuscany, Italy where we stumbled across this small little family run restaurant. They insisted we try their featured pizza made with a pumpkin sauce. It was absolutely delicious and every fall, its definitely one I get creative with. This year its dressed with fior'di latte cheese, caramelized red onions, pancetta coppata (cured pork) and finished with a generous drizzle of one of my favourites Rosewood Smoked Honey. A few tips for a crispy and delicious pizza come from my dad Nick, one of the best Pizza Makers I know! Always use a wire pizza tray to cook your pizza for a crispy crust and a well cooked through pizza. Brush your outer crust with sesame seeds, trust me, it is a total flavour changer for your pizza. If you are using fresh mozzarella, always dry the slices on paper towel to remove most of the liquid to avoid your pizza topping from being watery. Add the fresh cheese to your pizza 5-6 minutes prior to remove it from the oven. Don't over top your pizza, keep it simple. Lastly, use the highest heat as possible when baking your pizza for a crispier crust. There is only one thing my dad and I do not agree on, he thinks thin crust is best where I am a thick charred crust girl. I l save my crust so I can dip a thick charred dust in a spicy peperoncini in oil. This is an autumn pizza you must try!
1 small size cooking pumpkin, skin on, seeds removed and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes
4 medium garlic cloves, skin on
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 store bought pizza dough
2 tbsp sesame seeds
250 g Fior'di latte cheese or fresh mozzarella, cut in 1/4 inch rounds
8 thin slices Pancetta Coppata (cured pork)
I cup arugula
Rosewood Smoked Honey or any smoked honey
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place pumpkin wedges, tomatoes & garlic on baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place baking sheeting the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes until pumpkin and garlic have softened. Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool. Using a spoon, gently remove the pumpkin from its skin and and place it in food processor. Remove garlic from its skin and add to food processor. Add tomatoes and fresh sage and puree until creamy. If its to thick, add a 1 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside. (you can always make the sauce the day before and store it in the refrigerator for next day use.
For onions, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 8-10 minutes until caramelized. Add balsamic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional minute, remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat your oven to the highest setting, 500-550F or heat your wood oven to 600 F - 650F.
Lightly coat a medium size pizza tray with olive oil or cooking spray to avoid pizza from sticking. Roll out your dough large enough to fit your pizza tray. Lightly brush the edges around your pizza dough with water and sprinkle your sesame seeds around on your crust. The water helps them stick to your dough. Spread out your pumpkin sauce evenly on the pizza. Place on the middle rack of your preheated oven. Bake until crust is slightly golden about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cheese slices and caramelized onions. Place back in hot oven and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes until cheese has melted and crust is dark golden and slightly charred. Remove from oven and place on pizza cutting board. Top with pancetta, arugula and a generous drizzly of smoked honey!
SERVINGS 4 | PREP & COOK TIME approx. 1hour & 30 mins