Pizza with mushrooms, pizza with corn?

Pizza was on the menu last week for date night with Rob. After we came up with the plan, pizza was everywhere. It wouldn’t leave me alone! It came up in conversation, in daydreams, and as specials on Cooking Channel. The universe was speaking to me. I simply had to make pizza.

Being the yo pro (young professional) I am, my time for relaxing at night is limited. Therefore, I figured that I’d save some time and humiliation by buying pre-made dough. I was, on the other hand, ambitious in making two different types of pies.

 
Pizza #1:
For whatever reason, when I decided to make pizza, I also decided that one of them had to have mushrooms. I don’t eat them too often, but they give pizza a very earthy flavor which I was craving. I based my recipe search around them and found a  Bon Appétit recipe for a three cheese pizza with mushroom and pancetta, which I later discovered was written by Giada. This was an obvious plus for me, since along with every other person in the world, I adore her. 
Perhaps I am feeling more confident in my own skills because surprisingly, I used Giada’s pizza as a springboard for my own creation. I followed the basic baking directions, as well as used the suggested fontina, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. However, for another reason unknown to me, I wasn’t feeling the pancetta so much, and decided to substitute it with italian sausage (my pizza intuition was obviously very strong this week). 
Rob’s into food with a kick these days, so we picked spicy italian sausage. After sautéing the meat, we added the mushrooms to the same pan with some olive oil and a tinnnny bit of truffle salt. I was very nervous about over-salting the pizza after reading some of reviews. To be honest, I am not sure the mushrooms needed any salt at all considering the other salty ingredients. Although I am a fan of matching truffle salt and mushrooms, I will save the combo for something where the flavor of the combo can really shine. As a final touch, my smart boyfriend suggested adding chopped basil, which obviously turned out to be an excellent decision. It gave the very hearty, cheesy pizza a fresh punch. Next time I will add it in towards the latter portion of the baking, or even at the very end, to make the basil more prominent. 
Pizza #2 
When talking to my sister recently about things I have been cooking, she loudly exclaimed, “What’s up with your recent obsession with corn.” Rob loves corn. And if you are now concerned that I may have actually put corn on the pizza, your suspisions would be correct…
Rob swears by it, and I reluctantly agreed to try it out. Shockingly, I found recipes and restaurant menus online featuring this odd combo. I began to think that perhaps he wasnt so crazy after all. It should also be noted that I am always telling him to be open-minded when it came to food, so it was time for me to follow my own advice.
I decided to pan roast the corn in a cast iron skillet to char it, trying to bring out a smoky flavor. To accompany the corn, I sautéed chopped red onion with some olive oil and a pinch of salt. We had two mini doughs ready for pizza #2, due to a drawn out struggle with the rolling process. One corn pizza was three cheese and the other just had mozzarella.
Corn on pizza? Yes. It is downright delicious. The corn added a nice texture to each bite, along with a hint of sweetness (No worries though- this pizza still falls under the savory category). The deliciousness  of the caramelized onions only added to the overall success. 
I was very unconvinced when Rob initially told me that I would like corn on pizza. I couldn’t be more wrong. The pizza tasted equally good as left overs the next day. Try it!

Three Cheese Pizza with mushroom and sausage
inspired by recipe from March 2007 Bon Appétit
Premade pizza  dough
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 cup coarsely grated (or chopped) fontina 
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
1/2 cup grated mozzarella 
2 oz crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, finely sliced
1 italian sausage, casing removed
Basil, finely chopped
Olive oil for sautéing
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. 
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté until brown, breaking into small pieces with tongs while cooking. Transfer sausage to a plate covered with paper towel. Add mushrooms to skillet, with a small amount of oil if needed. Sprinkle with pepper and salt (if desired). Sauté until brown, about 5 minutes.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Spread marinara sauce over pizza. Sprinkle cheeses over, then mushrooms and sausage. Sprinkle with basil (or wait until after pizza is cooked) Add salt and pep to taste if desired. 
Bake pizza until brown on bottom and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Three cheese pizza with corn and red onion
Premade pizza dough
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 cup coarsely grated (or chopped) fontina 
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
1/2 cup grated mozzarella 
1 cup yellow corn (we used canned)
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
Basil, finely chopped
Olive oil for sautéing
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. 
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and sauté until brown. Transfer corn to bowl. Add onions to skillet, with a small amount of oil if needed. Sprinkle with pepper and salt (if desired). Sauté until brown, about 5 minutes.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Spread marinara sauce over pizza. Sprinkle cheeses over, then corn and onions. Sprinkle with basil (or wait until after pizza is cooked) Add salt and pep to taste if desired. 
Bake pizza until brown on bottom and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. 
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