I’m in trouble you guys. I learned how to make pizza in a cast iron skillet, and it’s way too easy. It gives you the perfect crust – crusty on the exterior and soft just underneath the sauce. Of course, I had to be a bit ambitious and remake a pizza I saw on my most recent San Diego trip. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to try this pie shop’s lasagna pizza, but I totally remembered its menu description, which included a béchamel sauce. Such a good idea! Rather than cooking it in the oven on a regular baking sheet, I opted for my nifty cast iron skillet. This heavy duty guy has been neglected for some time, but not any longer. Oh no. He’s the perfect solution for a quick pizza or one that’s a bit more “fancy” like today’s recipe that’s actually not hard to make if you have Italian sausage and a can of San Marzano tomatoes. Less the noodles, this pizza has just about everything you’d find in lasagna. I hope you like it.
- 5 oz Italian sausage
- 10 oz San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup milk, hot
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- 1 lb pizza dough, rolled out to fit a cast iron pan
- 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- basil, for garnish
- Prepare the meat sauce by browning the sausage in the a pan on medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes. Use a wooden spatula to break up the tomatoes and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Prepare the bechamel sauce by combining the butter and flour in a saucepan. Whisk on medium heat until incorporated. Whisk in the milk and continue cooking until thick. Season with salt and pepper. (This amount will reserve enough for other uses.)
- Preheat the oven to 525 degrees F. Sprinkle the cornmeal in a cast iron skillet; heat on medium-high on the stove. When hot (not smoking), place the rolled out pizza dough in the pan. Make sure the dough goes up the sides of the pan. Cook until bubbles form, and then add the meat sauce evenly over the dough. Break up the ricotta cheese over the meat sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the sides turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and drizzle with as much bechamel sauce and basil as you'd like. Transfer the pizza to a flat surface to cut and serve.