Spring Onion and Salami Sheet-Pan Pizza

Where I grew up, the only acceptable pizza was a deep-dish Chicago-style cheese fest. I didn't achieve true pizza nirvana until I moved to New York, home of thin-crust pies scattered with farmers' market loot at places like Roberta's in Brooklyn and Milkflower in Queens --meccas for family meetups with friends. We've since moved to another thin-crust pizza wasteland (except for glorious summer evenings at Westwind Orchard), but we still crave a pizza-night kind of affair: inexpensive, casual hangouts with friends that leave everyone satisfied, but not stuffed. The solution: making pizza at home. I'm no pizza wizard, so I embraced the deep-dish (or grandma-style) pie of my youth, only sexier (with nowhere near as much cheese). For the adults, this spicy, fennel and spicy sausage moment wins raves. A simpler cheese and broccoli version keeps small people happy -- and parents satisfied with the just-enough-vegetables vibe to let you kick back and feel you've done your job (use sweet Italian sausage only, and replace the fennel with broccoli, one for one).
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

All-Purpose Red Sauce:

One 28-ounce (794-gram) can whole peeled tomatoes (such as San Marzano), drained

2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained (optional)

2 garlic cloves

6 tablespoons (90 milliliters) olive oil

1/4 cup (3 grams) fresh basil leaves

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Pizza:

1/4 cup (60 milliliters) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Two 1-pound (455-gram) balls multigrain or plain pizza dough, at room temperature (see Cook's Note)

1 cup All-Purpose Red Sauce

2 1/2 cups (12 ounce) (200 grams) shredded mozzarella cheese

4 ounces (115 grams) salami, sopressata, or Italian sausage

1 small spring onion or fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed (optional)

1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) (15 grams) finely grated Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Fresh baby greens or herbs

Directions

  1. For the all-purpose red sauce: Pulse the tomatoes, anchovies (if using), garlic, oil, and basil in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth (some texture is okay); season with red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Makes 8 servings.
  2. For the pizza: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 525 degrees F (275 degrees C). If your oven only goes to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C), that's fine.
  3. Coat a 13-by-18-inch (33-by-46-centimeter) baking sheet with the oil. Gently stretch the two balls of dough into an even layer, to reach into all four corners of the baking sheet, taking your time to stretch evenly with the seam meeting in the middle. Press the seam together to make one large sheet of dough. Spoon the tomato sauce evenly over the top, sprinkle with the mozzarella, and top with salami, spring onion, fennel seeds (if using), and Parmesan.
  4. Bake until crisp and brown on the bottom and around the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with flaky salt. Top with the greens and drizzle lightly with more oil. Serve warm. 

Cook’s Note

The All-Purpose Red Sauce recipe makes 8 servings. Good to Know: I've made this pizza with corn and grated zucchini, salami and green olives, red onion and shaved winter squash. Anything goes. The sauce and onions are the only musts; just avoid anything too wet that will make your crust soggy because the oven is super hot and the cook time is short. Let's Talk Pizza Dough: Sometimes I make my own pizza dough, but for this kind of pizza, which doesn't have to stretch ultra-thin, the multigrain pizza dough from the supermarket, or dough from our local pizza shop, does the trick perfectly. The key is to let it set at room temperature for a good long while -- at least an hour -- so it is warm and puffy, and takes to stretching onto the baking sheet like a dream.

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