Sausage & Garlic Pizza

It’s the weekend!!!  Let’s have pizza!

I’m am so excited to be having pizza again!  During Lent, my family decided that together we would give up our Friday Pizza & Movie Night.  This made Fridays during Lent especially tough, because we were eating Vegetarian (something that never goes over well in my house full of men) AND we didn’t even have a movie to look forward to! 

We tried replacing it with Family Game Night, but it just wasn’t the same.  We play quite a few games in our house, but they’re not usually designated to a special day or time.  I’m thinking game night might work better when the kids are a touch older and less apt to cry and flip a game board when they lose.

Lent has been over for a few weeks now, but before I could make any amazing homemade pizzas, we had to get Little Caesar’s (because the boys love the cheese bread) and Pizza Hut (because Dude earned a Book-it coupon from school).  Then it was my turn!

The idea for this pizza all started when I was at my brother’s house over Easter and happened to spy a cute little pizza cookbook that was shaped like a pizza called Pizza: How to Make & Bake More Than 50 Delicious Homemade Pizzas by Carla Bardi!

I thought, “Cool!  Artisan pizzas!  I like artisan pizzas!” (Note that the title says nothing about artisan pizzas, I was just jumping to conclusions at this point).

I started flipping through and it was soon clear that the best part of the book was the gimmicky shape of the book.  Of the 50+ recipes, only two sounded even remotely appetizing.  At least a third of the recipes included anchovies as an ingredient.  Now, I know that there are those out there who love them some anchovies, but that much of the book dedicated to the things (not that it was split into sections or anything, they were just randomly scattered throughout) just seems excessive.  Then there were another three or four recipes with canned tuna.  Some with just tomato sauce (like, the only ingredient) and (oddly) 2 separate recipes for pepperoni & mushroom pizza (I never did figure out how those two basic recipes were different from one another).

Well, I thought, maybe I’m just giving this book a hard time because nearly half of the recipes had seafood in one form or another and I don’t eat seafood.  So I snapped a quick photo of the recipe that looked the best (Sausage, Garlic, & Tomato) and decided to make it when I had the chance.

Fast forward a couple weeks and I finally took a closer look at the recipe.

One of the ingredients is “1 cup diced canned tomatoes, with juice.”  In the directions, it says to “spread the dough evenly with the tomatoes”. 

Let’s just stop right there.  Canned tomatoes, with juice, spread all over the pizza?  That is just asking for a watery soggy pizza.  To make things even worse, let’s take a look at the accompanying photo.

Notice the distinct lack of diced tomatoes?  And how there is clearly sauce on this pizza? *sigh*

Stuff like this just irks me to no end.  Needless to say, I do not recommend this cookbook in the least.

But let’s get back to the good stuff, shall we?  I took the idea of the pizza and transformed it into something that made sense and was delicious to boot!

I didn’t even bother looking at the dough recipe from the book, because I am pretty loyal to my favorite Easy Pizza Dough.  I swapped the spicy sausage for mild (so my kids would eat it), and whipped up a tomato sauce loosely based on the wonky recipe (I kept the spicy profile the same).

Hubs & I loved a little something different and even the cheese pizza loyal kids enjoyed their slices!  So here’s the recipe, inspired by the book, adapted by me.  Enjoy!

Sausage & Garlic Pizza

1 lb mild Italian Sausage
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
10-15 basil leaves, thinly sliced

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage, first removing casing (if necessary).  Cook until browned, using a spoon to break into small bits, draining off excess fat and water as necessary.  Add the thinly sliced garlic, and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown.  Move to a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the pizza dough according to recipe instructions.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and place the pizza stone into the oven to heat.

Split the dough into two balls and roll thinly on a cornmeal dusted surface.

Combine the tomato paste, tomato sauce, oregano, and pepper in a bowl.  Stir until well combined.

Spread sauce onto each pizza (leftover sauce can be saved for sipping or frozen for a later use).

Place the cheese onto the pizzas, then sprinkle with the sausage and garlic mixture. 

Transfer pizza to the stone and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown (note: pizzas made with pre-shredded cheese may cook faster).

Remove the cooked pizza from the oven.  Immediately sprinkle with basil ribbons, cut into slices, and serve.

Serves 4-6

Want more?  Check out these recipes!

Caramelized Onion, Spinach, & Bacon Pizza
Spinach & Mushroom Chicago Style Pizza
Pizza Stuffed Buns

My Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe


  1. Your Chicago Style Pizza is still one of our favorites!! At least you didn't buy the cookbook and then find out it was a dud.


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