Yield: 2 servings
My love for pizza is already well-documented on my baby of a food blog. I made the pilgrimage to Eataly in Chicago this weekend…actually, I went there twice in 24 hours! So, of course, we ate in the pizza and pasta restaurant and ordered a pizza similar to this with sausage, basil and black truffle cream. I’ve attempted my best re-creation here, and with some Eataly pizza dough that accompanied me on the trek back home. This pizza has a delicious rich truffle cream, made by reducing heavy cream and adding truffle butter to make a sauce that resembles alfredo, fresh sausage of any variety you like (I used a garlic sausage), and the crème de la crème of mozzarella, mozzarella di bufala, which is made from water buffalos milk. Substitute with any red chile flakes you have, but Calabrian chiles are worth seeking out or ordering online if you’re a chile lover like me and want to branch out.
One ball of Neapolitan-style pizza dough, store-bought or your favorite homemade recipe
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons white or black truffle butter
1/2 pound sausage, removed from casing
1 ball mozzarella di bufala or fresh mozzarella (you may not use the entire ball)
1 ounce baby arugula
1/4 cup basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Calabrian chile flakes, to taste
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, to finish
Preheat your oven to its highest heat setting (usually 500 to 550°). Place a baking stone or steel in the middle of your oven and let preheat for at least 1 hour.
Lightly flour your work surface and hands. Gently pat down the ball of dough into a circle, rotating as you work. Using the tips of your fingers, gently push down around the edge of the round, rotating as you go, to create the edge. You can use the heel of your palm to gently stretch the dough out into a circle also. Pick up the dough and lightly pass it back and forth between your palms, trying to rotate as you go to form the round. When you have a round of dough approximately 12 to 14 inches in diameter, transfer to a large piece of parchment or a pizza peel. Optionally, you can sprinkle a little semolina flour on your parchment or peel to provide a little crunch to the bottom and ensure your pizza releases. When your baking apparatus has preheated for at least 1 hour, prepare to bake your pizza.
Place the heavy cream into a small saucepan and reduce over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes, until thick and reduced by half. The cream will begin to boil almost immediately; stir frequently to ensure it does not burn or scorch on the bottom of the pan. When you get to the last 5 minutes of cooking time, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to stir. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. When cooled, whisk in the truffle butter until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Spread the truffle cream in a very thin layer over the bottom of the pizza. Pull the mozzarella into small pieces and scatter around the pizza dough. Crumble the sausage into bite-sized pieces and scatter over the dough. Using the parchment paper and a baking sheet or large cutting board, transfer the dough to the baking stone or steel. Bake the pizza for 5 to 9 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbling. Do not overbake the pizza or the crust will become too crispy (it’s still delicious though, trust me!). Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
When cooled slightly, sprinkle with the chile flakes and scatter the arugula and basil over the top. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grate some Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese over the top; serve with extra for the cheese lovers in your life.