This is what is called in French a pizza blanche (or in Italian a pizza bianca), meaning there is no tomato sauce. Instead the pizza dough is coated with olive oil and then scattered with broccoli, smoked mozzarella and … homemade spicy fennel sausage. That’s right, you spice the sausage yourself, which is actually fun and — if my guests are any judge — ever so delicious. Succulent, smoky and a little mysterious…
Pizza saucisse fenouil maison / Pizza with homemade fennel sausage, smoked mozzarella and broccoli
It’s actually quite easy to prepare, providing you can find some high-quality sausages to work with. You then discard the casings and spice the meat with fennel seeds, dried herbs, garlic and cayenne. The smoked mozzarella — scamorza in Italian — is grated and scattered on top, along with tiny steamed broccoli flowerets.
I was inspired to make this pizza by a visit to Buona Forchetta, a fabulous pizza joint in San Diego. They had a similar item on the menu, the only difference being that the broccoli they used was rapini, a leaf broccoli that’s not available everywhere. So I substituted the flowerets and it worked out just fine. My one concern was whether I’d find the scamorza, but in fact when I checked at my local supermarket it was right there on the shelf. If you can’t find it, just use regular mozzarella instead.
I’d like to dedicate this recipe to my cousin Janice, who with her husband, Jack, took me to Buona Forchetta and many other fine places in San Diego this past summer. By the way, Janice is a writer, and here’s a link to her latest book, The Tin Horse, an award-winning mystery set in an old Jewish quarter of ’20s-’30s LA. It’s a great read, translated (or being translated) into seven languages (including French). Worth checking out.
And happy cooking!