there is something so warm, welcome, homey about a home made pizza. the nostalgia sets in and i think of the great pizzas i’ve made throughout the years. from the chef boyardee box we used to get when i was a kid to the amazing whole wheat pizzas made in vancouver, bc with my dear auntie l to the entertaining pizzas crafted for various new years occasions…i have no bad associations with a little pizza pie. i feel sorry for anyone who does.

over the holiday, my family went on the first-ever meyer family bar crawl. never thought i’d see that day. but i did, and what a glorious time we had! wausau, wisconsin was not ready for the meyer clan. how could it be? one of our stops was at the red eye, where we enjoyed some delicious beers and perhaps even more impressive pizza. my mom and i shared the special of the evening: a pie topped with butternut squash, prosciutto, caramelized onions, and goat cheese. and what a pizza it was. glorious! no red sauce: instead, the toppings rested atop a pillow of airy squash puree. while i picked off my prosciutto (i have a thing about not eating meet unless i know how that meat was raised), my taste buds, impatient and mutinous at the delay, could not get enough of that earthy, sweet, creamy, crispy goodness. 

afterwards, my mom and i spent a good week passionately reliving each bite. worse, two weeks after we kept tempting each other, talking about how we were going to try to make our own version. finally, i followed through with my claim (i had enough pink banana puree to be sure) and the results? splendid! 

the dough, frozen leftovers from a pizza night a month back, thawed out beautifully– nice crispy, thin, whole wheat.  i coated the pan with a little oil and sprinkled it with cornmeal, which gave the bottom of the crust a really lovely texture that suited the squash toppings perfectly. while orange sauce may not sound the most appealing, the colors of this pie were gorgeous, the texture smooth, and the community at la grande was yet again palatably pleased.

whole wheat pizza with orange sauce
pizza crust (recipe follows, or use your favorite!)
squash puree
1 red onion 
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil (or more)
white wine (a splash)
1/4 cup chopped kale
goat cheese
parmesan cheese

1. heat the oven to 425.  parbake the dough for 3-4 minutes before topping it (if it’s a homemade dough that is).
2. heat the oil on medium heat. add onions and garlic, sauté until they become tender, about 3-5 minutes, when they begin to release their juices. add a splash of wine and let them simmer, sucking up that flavor.
4. add kale (mine was frozen), and let the kale wilt down. 
5. while those toppings are hanging out on the stove top, spread a generous layer of squash (mine was pink banana) over the warmed dough. evenly sprinkle the onion-garlic mixture on the top.
6. glop fresh goat cheese over the onions, and sprinkle grated parmesan too. salt and pepper. 
7. put in the oven, bake 8-10 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melty.

aunt lynda’s whole wheat pizza dough 
1 packge of yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoon)
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
more oil

1. preheat oven to 425. dissolve yeast in warm water in a medium bowl. 
2. stir in flour, 2 tablespoons oil, and salt, beat 20 strokes.
3. cover dough and rest 20 minutes.
4. divide dough into 2 balls, roll out on 2 12″ pans greased with oil and sprinkled with cornmeal.
5. bake for 4 minutes, the pull out and cover with desired toppings. then return to oven to bake for a total of about 10 minutes, or until crust is brown.