House Pork Sausage Pizza as served at Bettina Pizzeria in Santa Barbara, CA, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: season 36.
Recipe courtesy of Bettina Pizzeria

House Pork Sausage Pizza

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 days 1 hr 15 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 25 min
  • Yield: one 12-inch pizza


Sourdough Pizza Dough:

Pork Sausage:

Fresh Mozzarella:

Tomato Sauce:



Special equipment:
a meat grinder; thick rubber gloves or 2 pairs of nitrile gloves; a pizza stone
  1. For the sourdough pizza dough: In a spiral mixer or stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix the water, sourdough starter and olive oil. Stir with your hands to help break up the starter into the water. Combine all three flour varieties in a bowl, then stir them to combine. Add the flour to the mixer and mix for 5 minutes on speed 1. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes in the mixer, then add the salt and mix for 5 minutes on speed 1. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and place on the counter. Portion and shape the dough into two 10 1/2-ounce dough balls. Let cold-ferment in the refrigerator on a plastic-wrapped sheet tray for 2 to 4 days before using.
  2. For the pork sausage: Place the meat chunks and garlic into a meat grinder. Add the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the oregano, salt, fennel seeds, sugar, black pepper and pepper flakes and gently mix with your hands to incorporate.
  3. For the fresh mozzarella: Fill a medium bowl with the hottest tap water possible from your sink. Add a large handful of salt and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Cut the cheese curds into thin slices and add to the bowl. Let the curds temper for about 15 minutes, then drain, leaving the curds in the bowl. Bring a pot of salted water to 185 to 190 degrees F (this water should taste salty; similar to salted water you would cook pasta in). CAREFULLY pour the water into the bowl of cheese curds. Wearing thick rubber gloves, or two pairs of nitrile gloves, start mixing cheese curds with a large wooden or metal spoon until they come together in one smooth mass. Begin stretching the cheese curds into 3-ounce balls, using your thumb and index finger to pinch the ball off from the main mass of curd. Immediately place the finished balls into an ice bath of salted water.
  4. For the tomato sauce: Pour the tomatoes into a bowl. Add the salt to taste and stir.
  5. For the pizza: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with a pizza stone in the center rack 45 minutes before you want to bake the pizza.
  6. On a cool, smooth surface or pizza peel, stretch a pizza dough into a 12-inch circle (save the remaining dough ball for another use). Ladle 1/4 cup sauce onto the pizza, then top with the basil and mozzarella, breaking the cheese up into 1-tablespoon chunks (save the remaining sauce and mozzarella for another use). Add the provolone, roasted peppers and garlic. Top with 1/4 cup sausage (save the remaining sausage for another use). Transfer to the pizza stone and bake until the dough is crispy and the cheese is nice and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cook’s Note

Chilling the grinder parts and using meat that is as cold as possible will give you the best grind for the meat. All canned tomatoes have a different water content, so start with 1 teaspoon salt and then continue adding more to taste.