italian meat and asparagus pizza

Asparagus and I are on a roll lately. Every time I head into the grocery store, bundles of asparagus are neatly tied up in ice baths, on sale, waiting to be taken home. They’re like small green stalk-y puppies, begging me to cook them. I can’t help but oblige.

I’ve put asparagus in risotto, served it over pasta, and alongside roast chicken. I wanted to do something nontraditional with my new love, though, so I channeled my favorite pizza parlor and thought outside the box. Asparagus on pizza? Who’d have thought. (Mom, you can stop reading now.)

I once had a pizza topped with bacon, jalapenos, and asparagus, and it was maybe the best and most interesting pizza I’ve ever tasted. That and a crispy crust and simple sauce, and lots of parmesan cheese, made me a happy pizza camper. Pioneer Woman’s trusty pizza crust recipe at my side, and I set out to replicate this tiny piece of asparagus heaven. Trust me, be adventurous and enjoy. (Also, Eric? You were totally right about the perfect pizza sauce: crushed tomatoes only.)

Italian Meat and Asparagus Pizza
Serves 2

You will need:
1/2 recipe Pioneer Woman’s pizza crust
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
Various italian meats (I used deli pepperoni, a spicy salami, and some leftover prosciutto. Use enough to make one layer on top of the cheese.)
8 spears asparagus, roasted and cut into 2″ lengths
Sliced fresh jalapeño (optional)

Prepare pizza crust according to directions.

Preheat oven to 450. Using half the dough, spread evenly onto a 15 x 10 baking sheet. Spread olive oil over crust; top with crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper.

Top with cheese, in an even layer. Lay sliced meats over mozzarella, in an even layer. Top meats with asparagus and jalapeño slices.

Bake 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown, cheese is melted, and jalapeños are cooked through. Top with parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve immediately.

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