Pizza Reigns Supreme in the Plated Bracket Challenge

March was certainly packed with plenty of Madness, as we took to Twitter to launch our first ever Plated Bracket Challenge, pitting stadium-inspired snacks up against each other to result in one (fan-chosen) food champ. A dramatic finish in the finals resulted in beloved Pizza taking the top spot over Loaded Fries in a heated Championship matchup. A nail biting victory over Tacos in the Final Four proved Pizza’s biggest test—but everyone’s favorite pie was more than ready for the challenge.

With a Plated Bracket Challenge triumph under its belt, Pizza was honored by becoming the winning snack for our Culinary Team to play with. Enter: The Hot Streak Pizza. Just the perfect amount of sweet and spicy, this pie gives the people what they wantand voted for.

1 pound pizza dough
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
2 ounces soppressata
2 ounces spicy Italian sausage
1 tablespoon hot honey
2 ounces peperoncini
2 ounces ricotta
4 ounces fontina and mozzarella
1 plum tomato
½ ounce basil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 425F. Rinse tomato and cut into .25-inch slices. On a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with .125 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Place in oven and roast, about 15 minutes.

Using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut through sausage casings lengthwise, from end to end. Peel back and discard casings. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add sausage and cook, breaking up, until browned, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add sauce to pan from sausage over medium heat. Simmer until sauce is thick, about 8 minutes.

Sprinkle flour onto a clean, dry surface. Using a rolling pin or the heels of your hands, roll and stretch pizza dough into a circle, about .25-inch thick.

Rub 1 teaspoon olive oil on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then carefully add pizza dough. Spread sauce on dough, leaving a .5-inch border. Scatter over roasted tomatoes, sausage, and fontina and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan and crushed red pepper over crust. Bake until crust is crisp and light golden and cheese is bubbling, 20 minutes. Add soppressata to pizza and return to oven for 2 more minutes to slightly crisp.

Remove pizza from oven and dot with ricotta and peperoncini. Drizzle with hot honey and tear basil to sprinkle over top. Slice and serve.


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