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Pesto Sausage Pizza

Creamy pesto adds flair to this thick crust pizza created by Ann Bridges of Albuquerque, New Mexico. "The homemade crust is so simple," Ann notes. "It also freezes nicely."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. + rising Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    12 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, for pesto, place basil and garlic in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. Add cream cheese and remaining oil; beat until smooth. Set aside. In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Punch dough down. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 15x10-in. rectangle. Transfer to a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Build up edges slightly.
  • Spread pesto over crust. Layer with spaghetti sauce, Parmesan cheese, sausage mixture, mushrooms, olives and Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 370 calories, 20g fat (9g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 714mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 13g protein.

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