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Not Your "Traditional" Pizza - Making do...


On a normal week my wife and I both have Fridays off from our jobs. It becomes a day for us to get projects done and to take some time together for a hike or some other event. And on many Fridays we will take the time to try out a new recipe and cook together. 


A couple of Fridays ago we went to a local apple orchard to pick up some apples both for eating and dehydrating. On the way home, we visited a county nature preserve to hike amid the beautiful west Michigan fall colors. That left us with the question of what to do for dinner with a somewhat shorter window than we normally have. 


I decided to rummage through the refrigerator and see what we could come up with from ingredients that we already had. I found two sweet Italian chicken sausages, kale, and a couple of types of cheese (mozzarella and pecorino romano). That was the beginnings of a homemade pizza. 


I considered making my own pizza crust, and then decided due to a lack of time to run to the local market and pick up a pizza crust. From there I took my memory of previous pizza making and decided to chart my own path with that night’s dinner.


I spread the pizza dough out on a rectangular baking sheet. The packaging recommended pre-baking the crust for 4 minutes at 400 degrees, so I did that. Turns out I did not think that one through well (more on that later). Meanwhile I made a white sauce with some 2% milk, some heavy cream, and some pecorino romano cheese. With the pre-baking of the crust complete, I poured that sauce over the crust.


I took the two sausages, removed the casings, and crumbled the sausage meat over the sauce and crust. I took some chopped kale and spread it over the sausage. Then topped it all with some more pecorino romano cheese.


I decided to back the pizza for about 8-10 minutes in order to give the sausage time to brown. Because of having pre-baked the crust, this resulted in a crust a little more browned than “normal”. It did not seem to impact the taste, though. 

Karen and I enjoyed dinner together, and I felt a sense of accomplishment. Taking some of the ingredients we had already and making something which, for me at least, was pretty creative.

That’s part of the fun of really getting into cooking - being “brave” enough to try something that is not guaranteed to succeed.

What are some of your most creative “make it up as you go” culinary creations? Let me hear about them at

By Robby Richardson


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