I don’t have many food quirks. I don’t care if my food touches or not, I have no qualms about tomatoes, onions or even liver (if it’s a deep fried chicken liver). I even love mayonnaise. But one thing that makes me go “um…hmmm…maybe not” is pizza with ranch dressing on it. I love pizza. I love ranch dressing. I love pizza crust dipped in ranch dressing (you know you do it too!). What I don’t love is the thought of someone spreading ranch dressing on a pizza crust and then cooking it. Something about hot ranch and hot mayonnaise just makes me frown.
SO, on the way home from work I was thinking about pizza and about some strips of steak for fajitas that I thought I had in the freezer. This sounds like the start of a great “Philly Cheese Steak” pizza with ranch dressing sauce I thought. Now, how do I create the effect of ranch dressing without actually using ranch dressing? Make a white sauce! Problem solved. Once I started cooking I went right for the white sauce first. I decided it could cool and thicken while I worked on everything else. I added all the items to it that I use when I make ranch dressing (minus the mayo): 1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, chives and parsley. It smelled SO good!
I reached in the freezer for the steak only to discover that it wasn’t steak…it was Italian Sausage. Then I realized my pizza dough was “herbed” pizza dough. So now I had an herbed pizza dough with an herb white sauce and a bold flavored sausage. Was this the start of something great, or was I bordering on disaster? There was really only one way to find out…get cooking!
I had all my veggies (onions and red bell pepper) chopped and my sausage cooked and was just waiting for the dough to cook some before I topped it with everything. I opened the fridge to grab the cheese; we had no mozzarella. NO MOZZARELLA! At this point was a change in cheese really going to matter? I decided not and started grating sharp cheddar.
So here’s our pizza: herbed pizza dough cooked for 10 minutes at 425 before adding toppings, a white sauce flavored to mimic ranch dressing, Italian sausage, red bell pepper, onion and cheddar cheese.
Final result? AWESOME! My ranch “sauce” was mild enough to not overpower the sausage or the crust and those two went great together. It was a nice change from marinara and now I have leftover sauce to use on pasta tomorrow night 🙂