Butternut squash—sweet, dense and rich—paired with earthy sage is one of those culinary marriages that seems like destiny. The smoky mozzarella is another perfect match. The recipe makes twice as much dough as you will need, so store the second ball in the freezer for later use, or double the ingredients and make enough pizzettes to serve a small crowd.
Roasted Squash, Smoked Mozzarella and Sage Pizzettes
For the pizza dough:
- 3 1/3 cups (17 oz./530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) whole-wheat flour
- 1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) quick-rise yeast
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C), plus more as needed
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
For the topping:
- 1 large butternut squash, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g), peeled, seeded and cubed (about 3 cups/14 3/4 oz./420 g)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
- 8 fresh sage leaves
1. To make the pizza dough, in a food processor, combine the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix the ingredients. With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Process the dough again for 25 to 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Place the second ball in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. (When ready to use, thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.)
4. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C). (This way your pizza stone will get very hot while you are roasting the squash.)
5. Pile the squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread the squash out in a single layer and roast in the upper third of the oven, stirring once, until very soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
6. Wearing oven mitts, carefully move the pizza stone to the upper rack of the oven.
7. Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal pieces. On a floured pizza peel, roll out each piece into a 5-inch (13-cm) round. If the dough springs back, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing. Brush each dough round with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border, distribute the cheese and then the butternut squash evenly over each pizzette. Place a sage leaf in the center of each pizzette.
8. Carefully slide the pizzettes from the peel onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Using the peel, transfer the pizzettes to a cutting board. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this and more ideas for pizza you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Pizza Night, by Kate McMillan