I'm not usually one for superstition, but when I found out that two of my favorite foods—greens and pork—are ubiquitous in lucky New Year's Eve traditions worldwide, I shoved my skepticism aside and figured, what the heck?! Worst-case scenario, John and I eat a delicious pizza that has zero effect on our 2016. Best-case scenario, we eat a delicious pizza that brings us extra successes and wads of cash. So here's my lucky New Year's Eve pizza, with pork sausage for progress and prosperity and collard greens for good fortune. Fingers crossed fingers crossed fingers crossed! (Oh wait . . . maybe I am superstitious after all . . .)
Lucky Collards and Sausage Pizza with Cream and Parmesan Cheese
Makes one 12-inch pizza
- 1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 bunch (about 1/2 pound) collard greens, stems cut out and discarded, leaves sliced into 1/2-inch-thick ribbons
- 1 (14 to 16-ounce) ball Basic Pizza Dough (or pre-made pizza dough)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, divided
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place your pizza stone (if using) on an oven rack about 8 inches from the broiler. If you plan to cook your pizza on a baking sheet, place a rack in the middle of the oven (you do not need to preheat the baking sheet). Preheat the oven to 550°F (or the highest temperature your oven will allow) and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes while you make the dough and/or prepare the toppings.
To prep the toppings: In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until it is no longer pink, stirring frequently and breaking it up with a wooden spatula, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Dump in the collard "ribbons" and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain them in a colander and rinse them under cold running water to lock in the bright green color and stop the cooking. Drain well, then wring them out in a clean kitchen towel.
To stretch/roll out the dough: Dust the ball of dough with flour and place it on a well-floured work surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently stretch or roll the dough into a 12-inch disk.
If you’re using a pizza stone: Dust a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet generously with flour or cornmeal. Place the dough disk on the prepared peel.
If you’re using a baking sheet: Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough disk on the prepared baking sheet.
To top the pizza: Brush the dough lightly with oil, making sure to get all the way to the edges. Scatter on the sausage, then the collards. Drizzle half of the cream evenly over the pizza and top with the cheese.
To bake the pizza: If you’re using a pizza stone, 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza, increase the oven heat to broil. Slide the pizza from the peel (or inverted baking sheet) to the hot stone using quick shimmying movements. Broil the pizza for 6 to 8 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese just begins to brown. Using the peel or inverted baking sheet, transfer the cooked pizza to a cutting board. If you are making more than one pizza, allow the pizza stone to reheat under the broiler for 5 minutes before you cook the next one.
If you’re using a baking sheet, do not increase the oven to broil. Place the baking sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven and bake at 500°F for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese just begins to brown.
As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, drizzle the remaining cream evenly over top. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.