Sausage and Mushroom Pizza with White Sauce and Pesto

This sausage pizza is great with white sauce and pesto.

Save time by substituting commercially prepared Alfredo sauce and pesto for the homemade versions below.

12- to 14-inch pizza crust, unbaked
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
½ lb. combined Crimini and Portabello mushrooms
2 T. olive oil
2/3 cup coarsely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

For the pesto
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, washed and dried
3 T. pine nuts
2 T. coarsely chopped fresh garlic
2 T. olive oil, divided
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

For the white sauce
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 cup milk (any kind)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Brown the sausage just until no longer pink; do not overcook. Drain and set aside.

Wash the mushrooms, remove stems and slice. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté just until they begin to soften. Let cool, and drain any excess liquid.

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

To prepare the pesto, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the pine nuts and garlic and sauté until pine nuts are lightly browned. Remove from heat. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts and garlic, basil, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using the pulse button, process until thoroughly combined and finely textured.

To prepare the white sauce, melt the butter over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour, and continue stirring and cooking over medium heat until mixture is a light brown, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk, and continue cooking and stirring until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and cheese; stir until cheese is melted.

If you’re using a thick crust, bake the crust about 5 to 7 minutes before topping.

Add the pesto to the white sauce and spread the mixture over the pizza crust. Top with sausage, mushrooms, and Parmesan or Romano cheese. Bake at 450 degrees F until sauce is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

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