With a fennel-infused crust, this dreamy vegan pizza is topped with caramelized onion and fennel, sausage, olives, and an easy garlic-almond ricotta.Inspired by and adapted from Cooking Light's recipe for Sausage, Fennel and Ricotta Pizza.
Prep tips: The homemade cheeses can be made in advance OR while the dough is rising, if making your own dough. If making the ricotta the same time as the pizza, leave it in the food processor. When the sautéed garlic is done, use the food processor to blend it into the ricotta (step 4 below).
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F.
Preheat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil and fennel to the pan and stir to coat. Cook the fennel undisturbed for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the onion to the pan. Stirring only every few minutes, cook the fennel and onion until soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the pan used for the fennel and onion, cook the garlic over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Spoon the sauteed garlic into the almond ricotta and stir to incorporate or use the food processor to pulse/blend it in.
On a lightly floured surface, stretch dough into 12-inch diameter. If using a pizza peel, prep as you normally would. Otherwise, remove hot stone from oven. Gently fold prepared dough in half (like a taco shell) to make it easier to transfer to the stone. Carefully place dough on stone and unfold. Brush with olive oil, and top with sausage, caramelized fennel and onion, and mozzarella, if using. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove pizza from oven and place dollops of ricotta on top. Return pizza to oven and bake 5 to 7 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden brown (total bake time for thin crust is usually 15 to 17 minutes). Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and olives, slice and enjoy.
Fennel-Infused Pizza DoughUse the Herb Crust recipe from my Vegan Stuffed Crust Pizza with the following considerations:
The recipe makes enough dough for two, 12-inch thin crust pizzas (or one stuffed, thick crust). For this fennel pizza recipe you only need one thin crust. So you can either make the full amount of pizza dough, and save half for another day, or cut all ingredient amounts in half.
Omit the oregano and basil, and add about ¾ tsp crushed fennel seeds. Crush the fennel sees using a mortar and pestle or by pulsing in a spice grinder.