Pizza is a really big deal in my house, but I say this and I know that I’m not the only one. Pizza is a really big deal in a lot of our houses. So while I did share a Meatball Pizza recently, I felt like it’s time for yet another pizza pie recipe on the blog. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, just coming back from my trip to Europe and a recent trip to Idaho shortly thereafter. I visited Idaho for the very first time in my life thanks to the Potato Idaho Commission who invited me to attend their Idaho Potato Harvest 2016. With every trip I take, I tend to explore the city through it’s food. But for some crazy reason I always go into thinking, how can I turn a dish from this city into a pizza?
Some of the best pizzas I’ve made have come from this idea of turning my travels into an out-of-this-world pizza. So for instance, I made a Sausage and Pickled Jalapeño Pizza from my trip to San Fransisco. And then I made a Jambalaya Pizza in honor of my trips to New Orleans when I work with my friend Joy. Then we mustn’t forget about this Beer Cheddar and Bratwurst Pizza when I visited Wisconsin for the first time. The way these posts go is that I create a pizza that reminds me of that particular city and then I share some images from my trip. It’s a fun way to break up the normal usual posts I create on here but also to share some non-food photos with you because I sometimes like to take pictures that don’t involve food. My degree is in photography after all.
I was in Idaho for about 4 days where I learned all things potatoes. It was like taking a class in college called Potatoes 101, but I gotta tell you that I wish that was really a class in school because I was aced it with flying colors. Anyhow we saw how potatoes grow in the ground, in clusters, which I had no idea that they did. Then we learned all about how they’re harvested and removed from the ground with tractors and then picked up through all these hi-tech conveyer belts and dropped into trucks and then into large sheds that hold millions of pounds of potatoes at a time. It’s crazy.
Then we visited various potato factories and plants where the potatoes are delivered and then washed, peeled, cut, fried, frozen, bagged and boxed before being shipped to different fast food restaurants. It was so great to see because it was all done by machines. I felt like I was in a real life episode of Unwrapped on The Food Network. The machines would zip all the potatoes at a thousand miles (maybe not that fast) and they’d be rinsed and peeled with steam and cut and fried all within seconds. It was insane to watch. We also visited the Idahoan Potato plant where they dehydrate potatoes and make instant mashed potatoes, dried potatoes gratin and soups. This plant was my favorite of the trip because I learned so much about the process of dehydrating potatoes that I never would’ve dreamt of.
Idaho is also the home to a Potato Museum. A museum dedicated to my favorite vegetable? Sign me up. That’s the kind of art I can easily get behind. In my personal opinion, the museum’s biggest claim to fame is a giant baked potato sculpture out on the front lawn, complete with a pat of butter on top. I’m trying to figure out how I can bring this to my house. I have a spot for it mapped out already, right in my living room. Or maybe in my bedroom so that I can see it overnight before bed. I think Julian would be okay with this.
One of the greatest things I did on this trip was horseback riding in a beautiful ranch called Linn Canyon Ranch. It was the first time I ever rode a horse and I was both scared and excited. Luckily I didn’t fall and I survived to tell the tale. My horse’s name was Buddy and we bonded instantly because I told him right off the bat to please not run away and throw me off. It was an hour ride through gorgeous mountains in the middle of nowhere Idaho with all of the changing colors of the leaves and trees everywhere. It felt like autumn, which means a lot to me because being born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve never experienced a real autumn in my life. That alone made the trip worthwhile.
Although this happens to be a recap of my recent trip to Idaho, this is also a small recap of my trip to Rome the week before Idaho. It’s an unofficial recap because I’ll have a much better Europe recap later in the week. But with that being said, I had this Potato and Sausage Pizza Bianca in Rome in a small pizza place called Dar Poeta and it was amazing! So amazing that we went back the next day and had it again. After learning all about potatoes last week, and having this pizza, I was determined to recreate it at home and share it with you all so that we can all eat potato pizza and be in heaven.
Let’s start by rolling out the pizza dough into a large rectangle. I noticed a lot of pizza was cut into squares in Italy, so that’s why I’m making this into one large pizza. Plus you’ll want an entire baking sheet sized pizza I promise. Drizzle and brush the top with olive oil. This doesn’t have a sauce, so the olive oil acts as a sauce.
**Note: You can use store bought pizza dough for this, if you’re not wanting to create your own. But if you are feeling adventurous, you can make it yourself! I have a very old recipe on the blog for basic pizza dough, and although the images are garbage, the recipe is great! It’s the only pizza dough recipe I use.**
Sprinkle the top with black pepper and freshly chopped rosemary. Again, because this pizza doesn’t have a sauce, you want to create something as a base that’ll give it a lot of flavor.
Then completely cover the top with shredded mozzarella, fontina and parmesan cheese. I like the combination of all three of those cheeses because they all contribute a unique flavor and texture that makes this pizza delicious. Don’t skimp out on any of those cheeses.
Lay out the thinly sliced yellow Idaho potatoes all over the top of the cheese. You want to lay them out in rows down the entire pizza, with each slightly overlapping each other. Then dollop the top with hot Italian sausage all throughout the top of the pizza.
**Note: Place the sausage on raw, but don’t worry, it’ll fully cook in the oven. We’re cooking this pizza in a VERY hot 500 degree oven, so the sausage and potatoes will definitely cook all the way through. We need that hot oven to recreate (somewhat) that crunchy crust from a wood-fired pizza oven.**
Let’s talk about the potatoes for a second. It’s crucial that the potatoes be super thin. You’re adding them on raw so slicing the potatoes thin will ensure that they cook all the way through in the oven in the amount of time that the pizza cooks. If the potatoes are too thick, they won’t cook fully and then you’ll end up with hard potatoes on top of pizza. That’s sad.
**Note: The best way to get the potatoes paper thin and all uniform in size, is to use a mandolin. Just be super careful when slicing the potatoes on that gadget because it’s very sharp and somewhat dangerous if you’re not paying close attention.**
Bake in a very hot oven until the crust is golden brown and puffed up, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. The sausage should be cooked through and brown and crispy. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven, again it’s super hot so be very careful, and then let it cool slightly before cutting and serving.
If you want, you can easily make this into two medium round pizzas. But if you want to make one large pizza like I did, here’s a good trick. I cook my pizza on a large baking sheet that is turned upside down. The bottom side is flat and smooth, so I use that! Just lay a piece of foil on top of the bottom and then sprinkle with a little cornmeal to prevent the pizza from sticking. Then I just transfer the rolled out dough on top and build my pizza from there. I bake the pizza just like that with the upside down pan. It works like a charm!
If you want to keep things vegetarian, just omit the sausage. While the sausage does add taste to the pizza, and while that’s how Dar Poeta serves it, it’s definitely not necessary or essential. If you want to add any other veggies, go for it! Cauliflower or even broccoli would be amazing on this pizza along with the potatoes.
This isn’t the first time I’ve added potatoes and sausage to my pizza. May I take this moment to remind you of this Spicy Sausage, Potato and Kale Pizza from last year? It’s a play on one of my most popular posts on the site which is a Spicy Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup. It’s another fantastic pizza option for you, but also an even better soup for the winter! Look at all these options you have!
If you’ve never tried putting potatoes on pizza, you’re missing out and I’ll never forgive you if you don’t make it for yourself right now, or this week at the latest. You need to try it because I guarantee you that once you do, you won’t go back. It’ll be your new favorite pizza flavor.
**Although the Idaho Potato Commission hosted me for the Harvest, all opinions are my own. Thank you for your continued support of the occasional sponsored post on this site. They help keep the blog going, allowing me to continue to share my recipes with you on a weekly basis. I never want my sponsorships to feel forced, which is why I only partner with companies I feel very passionate about and actually use on a regular basis.**
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 16-oz pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, divided
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 medium yellow Idaho Potatoes, very thinly sliced
- ½ cup hot Italian sausage
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Turn a large baking sheet upside down and place a piece of foil on top. Sprinkle the top with cornmeal and set aside.
- Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured work surface to a large rectangle, about a ¼-inch thick. Make sure to roll it out to about the same size as the baking sheet you're using. Transfer the rolled dough to the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, making sure it's even coated. Sprinkle evenly with half of the black pepper, half of the rosemary, all of the mozzarella, all of the fontina, and half of the parmesan. Lay out the thin potato slices all on top, making sure that the cheese is completely covered in potatoes. Dollop the top with small chunks of the raw sausage. Sprinkle with the remaining black pepper, rosemary and parmesan.
- Bake the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the pizza from the hot oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving. Enjoy!