Jun 4, 2019

Lamb Sausage Pizza with Confit Tomatoes and Fennel

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 30 mins
This tasty pizza is covered with flavorful, crumbled homemade lamb merguez sausage, fragrant confit tomatoes, shallots and garlic, shaved fennel and cheese.

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This post was created in partnership with American Lamb Board.

This tasty pizza is covered with flavorful, crumbled homemade lamb merguez sausage, fragrant confit tomatoes, shallots and garlic, shaved fennel and cheese. The aroma of yeasty pizza dough baked until golden brown combines with the inimitable scent of the lamb and melted cheese and wafts through the air as you are baking. Summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill!

Lamb Sausage Pizza with Confit Tomatoes and Fennel

About American Lamb

This recipe is great for summer entertaining or for an intimate family dinner served on it’s own or accompanied by a light salad with fresh vegetables. American lamb has a bit mellower and milder flavor than lamb imported from New Zealand or Australia. The tastes differ due to the diet of the lamb as well as the fact that when you buy lamb as close to the source as you can, it will be freshest – it doesn’t have to travel as far.

homemade pizza dough ingredient shot cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Dough – Pizza is the perfect cure for a hectic tornado of a week. It’s fast and homemade dough is easy to make using my recipe here. If you want a shortcut, then instead of making homemade dough you can find pre-made dough in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I also recommend checking if your local pizza spot sells their dough, it’s a great way to support local!
  • Lamb – I use ground American Lamb to make the homemade lamb merguez sausage. I love the unique flavor of lamb enhanced by the aromatic spices of cumin, coriander and fennel.

How to Make Lamb Merguez Sausage Pizza with Confit Tomatoes

For the lamb sausage:

  1. Toast the spices. In a small skillet over medium heat add the coriander, cumin and fennel and dry toast until fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally, about 2 minutes. Remove and pound with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Make the lamb sausage. Add to a medium mixing bowl with the lamb, cilantro, garlic, salt, paprika, red pepper and cayenne. Use hands to carefully mix the lamb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day and up to 5.
  3. Cook the lamb merguez. When ready to use, heat a medium cast-iron pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add lamb mixture and cook, breaking up the mixture with a wooden spoon, until browned all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the confit tomatoes:

  1. Add ingredients to a baking dish. Heat oven to 350ºF. Add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic to a small roasting dish and cover with the olive oil.
  2. Cook until the tomatoes burst. Roast until the tomatoes are blistering and bubbling and shallots and garlic are tender, about 45 minutes.

For assembly:

  1. Heat grill or oven. Place pizza stone on grill or in oven and heat to 500ºF.
  2. Roll out the dough. Divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, working one half at a time, roll out each half of dough into about a 10-inch circle. The dough should be fairly thin. Place the dough on piece of parchment paper on top of the pizza peel. If you do not have a pizza stone/peel then prepare the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  3. Par-bake the crust. Rub the olive oil and the confit garlic over the pizza dough including the edges. Use a pizza peel to slide the dough with parchment paper underneath it onto the pizza stone. Cook until crust is a pale brown and bubbly, about 6 minutes.
  4. Top the pizza and bake. Remove from grill or oven and spread ½ cup of the confit tomatoes and shallots over the pizza as well as the fennel. Top with 1 cup of the Asiago and ½ cup of Parmesan followed by 1 cup of the lamb sausage. Return to the pizza stone and continue to cook until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 8 minutes.
  5. Repeat and serve. Remove and set aside then repeat with the remaining dough and ingredients. Garnish with fennel fronds (optional) and cut into 8 equal slices before serving.
par baked crust pizza

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • While this recipe calls for homemade lamb merguez sausage you can also use leftover roasted and sliced lamb to make sure nothing goes to waste! I love finding new ways to reinvent leftovers.
  • I love making pizza on the grill because it can get up to higher temperatures much faster than an oven can. If you don’t have a grill – don’t worry! You can still make pizza in the oven – just crank it up as high as it can go (typically 500ºF).
  • Using a pizza stone that heats up with the oven is important because it helps to cook the dough directly although it can be made on a baking sheet as well. I par-bake the pizza crust so that the bottom can get crispy and give the pizza some structural integrity.
American Lamb Sausage Pizza with Confit Tomatoes and Fennel recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What is lamb merguez?

Lamb merguez is a spicy sausage spiced with coriander seeds, cumin, fennel, cilantro, garlic, paprika and red pepper originating in the Middle East and North Africa.

Can I make tomato confit in a pan?

Yes! For a version of tomato confit made on the stove, check out my recipe here.

Why should I par-bake the pizza dough?

This method is great when cooking pizza, using lower heat methods like an oven. It’s not going to get as hot as a grill or pizza oven so partly baking the crust before adding the toppings makes for a crisp base crust. This way it doesn’t get soggy – you want some structural integrity with each slice.

How should I reheat pizza?

With thin crust pizza like this, the bottom crust is important. I like to reheat my pizza first in a cast iron pan or skillet over medium-low heat until the crust is crisp then broil in the oven on high until the cheese is bubbling and hot. 

American Lamb Sausage Pizza with Confit Tomatoes and Fennel recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Lamb Sausage Pizza with Confit Tomatoes and Fennel-20.jpg

Lamb Sausage Pizza with Confit Tomatoes and Fennel

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Equipment:

  • Pizza Stone (optional)
  • Pizza Peel (optional)

Ingredients:

For the lamb merguez sausage:

  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pound ground American lamb
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the confit tomatoes:

  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 2 shallots, halved
  • 1 head garlic, slightly smashed
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed

For assembly:

  • 1 pound pizza dough, get the recipe here
  • All-purpose flour, as needed, for rolling out the dough
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fennel
  • cups shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fennel fronds, for garnishing (optional)

Instructions:

For the lamb sausage:

  • In a small skillet over medium heat add the coriander, cumin and fennel and dry toast until fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally, about 2 minutes. Remove and pound with a mortar and pestle.
  • Add to a medium mixing bowl with the lamb, cilantro, garlic, salt, paprika, red pepper and cayenne. Use hands to carefully mix the lamb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day and up to 5.
  • When ready to use, heat a medium cast-iron pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add lamb mixture and cook, breaking up the mixture with a wooden spoon, until browned all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the confit tomatoes:

  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic to a small roasting dish and cover with the olive oil. Roast until the tomatoes are blistering and bubbling and shallots and garlic are tender, about 45 minutes.

For assembly:

  • Place pizza stone on grill or in oven and heat to 500ºF.
  • Divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, working one half at a time, roll out each half of dough into about a 10-inch circle. The dough should be fairly thin. Place the dough on piece of parchment paper on top of the pizza peel. If you do not have a pizza stone/peel then prepare the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Rub the olive oil and the confit garlic over the pizza dough including the edges. Use a pizza peel to slide the dough with parchment paper underneath it onto the pizza stone. Cook until crust is a pale brown and bubbly, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove from grill or oven and spread ½ cup of the confit tomatoes and shallots over the pizza as well as the fennel. Top with 1 cup of the Asiago and ½ cup of Parmesan followed by 1 cup of the lamb sausage. Return to the pizza stone and continue to cook until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove and set aside then repeat with the remaining dough and ingredients. Garnish with fennel fronds (optional) and cut into 8 equal slices before serving.

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