I actually can’t remember a time that pizza has been this good. I mean, bad pizza is very rare in the first place – I can only think of one time when I’ve had bad pizza, and that was a £1 cardboard-based pizza from the corner shop with a ‘cheese flavoured topping’ (err no, I’m not quite sure what I was thinking either…). Generally, all pizza is good pizza. But this. This spicy butternut squash pizza with crispy kale. This was something else.
I’m going to go ahead and say it was possibly the best pizza ever.
It’s tricky to determine what makes this pizza so amazing – a few simple toppings just come together in perfect harmony (I think I feel a poem coming on).
This spicy, crispy, cheesy pizza is topped with:
– hot Peppadew piquante peppers. Remember these things from my recipes before Christmas? I’m still putting them on everything – salads, sandwiches, quesadillas… there’s very little that can’t benefit from a few Peppadews. You can choose between hot and mild – I went for the hot ones (‘now even hotter!’), since I like to live on the edge.
– roasted butternut squash. I’ve always thought squash goes perfectly with a bit of heat – the spicy / sweet combo is utterly perfect.
– crispy kale. I can feel a new obsession coming on – I now fully understand why kale chips got so popular. As the pizza bakes, the kale crisps up and takes on the most amazing flavour! If you’ve ever roasted broccoli, it tastes a lot like that. I never knew kale could be so genuinely tasty (and not just in a ‘ooh look at me, I’m so healthy and I love kale’ kind of way, in an actually tasty way).
As you can see, none of the toppings on this pizza are particularly ‘out there’, but the combination just works so well. I even used a spicy chilli and tomato pesto instead of pizza sauce, for an extra kick – feel free to use a non-spicy pesto or just a plain tomato sauce if you’re a bit of a spice lightweight. The hot Peppadews give a lovely amount of heat on their own.
I worked on this recipe at lunchtime one day (as I always do, so there’s light for my photos), and it was pretty tough to save it for dinner. It was worth the wait though, and this spicy butternut squash pizza is definitely going straight in the regular rotation!
If you want to give this pizza a go, Peppadew® products are stocked in Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons,
Spicy butternut squash pizza with crispy kale
- 200 g diced butternut squash flesh (~ 1 1/3 cups)
- 1 tbsp oil
- Black pepper
- 350 g pizza dough (enough for a pizza measuring ~12 x 9”)
- 1 1/2 tbsp red pesto (I used a shop-bought tomato and chilli pesto)
- 120 g grated mozzarella and / or cheddar (~ 1 cup)
- 60 g hot Peppadew piquante peppers, roughly chopped (~ 1/2 cup)
- 15 g roughly chopped curly kale (~ 1/2 cup)
- Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Toss the diced butternut squash with a little oil and some salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast for around 30 minutes, tossing halfway, until soft and just starting to crisp up.
- Meanwhile, lightly spray a baking tray with oil. Roll or stretch the pizza dough out to the size of the tray.
- Spread the pesto over the pizza dough, and top with the grated cheese. Add the chopped Peppadew peppers, chopped kale, and the roasted butternut squash. Bake the pizza for around 30 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is golden brown.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information about is for 1/3 of the pizza.