Pizza with Sausage-and-Pepper Crust

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

8 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 ounces provolone cheese, diced

Coarse cornmeal, for dusting

1 pound refrigerated pizza dough, at room temperature

1/3 cup marinara or pizza sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, then stir in the diced provolone.
  2. Sprinkle a 15-inch round pizza pan with cornmeal. Stretch the pizza dough in the pan into a 13-inch circle, pressing with your fingertips (lightly oil your hands if the dough is too sticky). Arrange a thin border of the sausage mixture around the dough, about 1/2 inch from the edge. Lift the edge of the dough and gently stretch over the filling, pinching to seal.
  3. Gently pat and stretch the center of the dough so the pizza is about 12 inches in diameter. Spread the sauce in the middle of the dough and top with the mozzarella. Brush the edge of the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with the fennel seeds. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.