So, where are the pizza lovers at? The chewy bread enthusiasts. The melty gooey cheese addicts. The topping lovers galore. Please stand with with me in a moment of silence for this delicious pizza.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I can fully explain how extremely tasty this pizza is. It’s the perfect mixture of spices in the meatballs, the creaminess of the cheese, the slightly chewy but still crunchiness of the crust, and if you haven’t ever had artichoke hearts on your pizza, you are missing out. Not to mention, this meatball recipe is so versatile and can be stretched for at least 2 if not 3 meals. I plan to make a pasta dish with this meatball mix, so keep an eye out for that!
I will also include my pizza dough recipe down below.
But honestly, the real beauty of this pizza, and pizza in general, is that it can be completely customized to your liking. So, as always, add what you like.
In our house, we’ve come to love having pizza night so much, that I don’t really missing going out for it. We are always coming up with different topping ideas, and a lot of the time, everyone (excluding my 1 year old) assembles their own, which takes a ton of work from my hands, and the fact that it brings the family together is a major selling point in my book.
So let’s get started…
For the meatballs, I started with 1lb of mild Italian sausage links and I ran a sharp knife down the center to loosen the casing, and then peeled the casing from the sausage meat.
Once all the sausage was removed from the casings, I added them to a large mixing bowl with the eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, parsley, crackers, and salt and pepper. I have to give credit to my mom for passing down the amazing piece of knowledge to always use ritz crackers in meatballs. In the running for best advice I’ve received in my adult life.
Then, I gave it a good mix with my hands. I found the only way to get a mixture like this combined well enough was to just dig right in with my hands. This is also where you test your ingredients…if it feels a little wet, add more crackers, and if it feels dry, add another splash of milk.
So, this the moment whenyou get to choose the size of meatballs you want. It’s a big decision. Don’t worry I am there with you in spirit. If I was doing a pasta I would have made them about a tablespoon full, but since they were meant to be a pizza topping here, I kept them mini with only about a teaspoon of mixture.
After they were all rolled and ready to go, I quickly seared them in a pan with a bit of olive oil. These were really small, so they were done in about 5 minutes. When the meatballs were cooked through, I transferred them to a paper towel lined plate just to get rid of any extra grease they might be holding onto.
Greasy pizza = no thank you!
Then it was time to roll the pizza dough I had made earlier. I have discovered through many pizza mishaps that it’s best to stretch and assemble your dough on the surface you plan to cook it on. Seriously. Don’t try lifting your pizza with all the toppings and carrying it to the oven. It will end up in a sad clump of uncooked dough and toppings, and you will probably end up in a clump next to it crying ugly tears. Avoid this heartbreak. Think ahead! 😂
For this pizza I kept a it simple so the meatballs could shine like the stars they are. I started with just a basic marinara, then added some grated mozzarella cheese, roughly chopped marinated artichoke hearts, the sausage meatballs, and some fresh chopped parsley. It’s really important to pick a low moisture mozzarella for making pizza. If you use a cheese with a high moisture content, your pizza will get soggy when it bakes in the oven. And that would just be sad.
After the pizza was assembled I finished it in the oven at 400F for about 25-30 minutes.
Nothing is better to me than a crispy crust so at about the half way mark I brushed the edges with some melted butter just as a little insurance policy for extra flavor and deliciousness!
In my house pizza never disappoints. This one especially was a hit because both my kids at every bite. Momma won this round!
Hope you enjoy!
Yield: 40 med. Size meatballs Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
15 Ritz Crackers, crushed
¼ cup milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sausage, eggs, crushed crackers, milk, cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper. Mix well. Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil for easy clean up. Taking about a tablespoon size of the mixture, roll in between palms to form a round shape, set aside on the lined baking sheet. After the meatballs are rolled, sauté them in a large skillet with the olive oil on medium high heat, making sure to sear them on each side. Once the meatballs are done cooking, remove them from the pain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess grease. Serve plain with dip, in your favorite pasta dish, or on pizza. Enjoy!
Yield: 1 12-inch pizza Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup of lukewarm water
1 tbsp. olive oil
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the water and olive oil. Mix until all the flour has been incorporated with the water and oil. When the mixture starts to form a ball, place it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough becomes elastic and springs back. (This will take 7-10 minutes) Then, shape the dough into a ball and place into a large bowl coated with oil. Make sure to move the dough around slightly so it becomes lightly covered in oil as well. Cover and allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size. After the dough had risen, punch it down to release the air. Shape onto a large baking pan, and cover with your favorite pizza toppings, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your toppings and thickness of the your dough. Enjoy!