There has been an important development in the world. Pizza meets lasagna. And it is the BEST. No better way to celebrate our anniversary than to cook a homemade masterpiece like this. I highly recommend my adaptations, which is to substitute ricotta with cauliflower cream and to make your own lasagna noodles from scratch, super thin. Look at this pizza flower, this rose made of meat and cheese. This could have been our wedding cake.
Pizzagna—the Holy Grail of Dinner
Adapted from the Food Network
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, or andouille sausage, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
1 cup sliced pepperoni
8 (?however many you want) lasagna noodles—make your own! Recipe below**
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 oz cauliflower cream* (substitute for ricotta, see recipe below)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
*Cauliflower Cream—substitute 1:1 for ricotta, recipe adapted from Skinny Cooking
24 oz cauliflower (frozen is fine)
½ cup reserved cauliflower water
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
1 ½ tsp salt
Place cauliflower in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil for five minutes, then drain but keep about a cup of water reserved. Then blend all the ingredients in a food processor. You can store in the fridge for several weeks.
**Homemade Lasagna Noodles
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
2 eggs, 1 egg yolk
½ tsp salt
1 TB olive oil
1 TB water
Pile the two flours and salt into a mound on the counter into which you should create a crater for the eggs, oil, and water. Slowly blend them together on a clean counter, until you have a rubbery, smooth dough ball. Add extra water as needed. Crash dough on the counter a few times and wrap in saran and let rest for 30 min-1 hour. Then roll flat on counter, flat enough to put through a pasta press. I use the Kitchen-Aid attachments to roll flat sheets, and went to setting 6 for my noodles. Then cut into strips with a fancy edge cutter (looks like a mini-pizza roller that’s been crimped into waves). Boil immediately for 2-3 minutes, or let dry and store for later use.
Now, for the pizzagna.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper and cook, scraping up the browned bits, until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage to the pot and cook, breaking up the meat, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a 9-inch round springform pan with olive oil and line with foil, leaving an overhang. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until done; drain and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Combine 2 cups mozzarella, the cauliflower cream, parmesan and eggs in a bowl; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Wrap some lasagna noodles around the inside of the pan, overlapping slightly and trimming as needed. Cover the bottom of the pan with more noodles, overlapping slightly and letting them extend up the side of the pan. Spread 2 cups sauce in the pan and top with half of the cauliflower mixture; cover with a layer of noodles.
Repeat with 2 more cups sauce, the remaining cauliflower mixture and another layer of noodles, letting them extend up the side of the pan (you might not use all the noodles, do what feels right). Top with the remaining sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup pepperoni.
Bake until browned and bubbling, about 1 hour (tent with foil if the top is browning too quickly). Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour, then lift out of the pan using the foil. Remove the foil and slice.
Delicious. Stunning. A bouquet of pizza.