Hello and Welcome to Pizza and a Movie! Today’s pizza has Fall written all over it. Leftover roasted butternut squash (remember the Butternut and Ricotta Stuffed Shells?), kale sautéd with wine and garlic, thick-cut bacon, and Raclette cheese top a puffy-crusted sheet pan pizza. This pizza is serious; it’s not messing around. Our movie this week is Stillwater; starring Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin. Which, kinda goes perfectly with this pizza…Let’s get to the Butternut Kale Bacon Pizza!
There is some ingredient prep with this pizza. As I mentioned at the top, I am using up the leftover roasted butternut slices from our Stuffed Shells. If you want to make this using fresh butternut, get the butternut slices roasting in the oven first.
Then, bake the bacon slices just until they started to get crispy. If you’re roasting butternut for this pizza, go ahead and reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees and pop the bacon in toward the end of the butternut’s 45-minute roasting time. When the bacon is cooked, but not overly browned or crispy, pull it and let it cool a bit. When the bacon comes out, increase the oven temp to 450 degrees. Use about 6 slices of bacon, cut the strips into 2-inch pieces.
Let’s multi-task: while the bacon (and butternut) is in the oven, let’s sauté the kale.
I used Lacinato kale for this because I like the thick leaves; they’re not as “spiky” as regular kale, you can often find Lacinto kale labeled as “Dinosaur” kale at the supermarket.
Wash and pat dry the leaves, then hold the leaves in a bundle and working from the tips of the leaves to the stems, slice the kale into 1/2-inch strips. When you get to where there’s more stem than leaf, stop and discard the stems. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Toss in the sliced kale and let it wilt a bit, stirring occasionally.
Add about 2 tablespoons of dry white wine and keep cooking the kale until it has softened, about 4 minutes, or until the wine has mostly evaporated. Sprinkle with a pinch of Kosher salt and black pepper. Then add about 2-3 cloves of chopped fresh garlic. If you’re using a cast iron skillet turn off the heat and stir the garlic into the kale. If you’re not using a cast iron, keep the heat on low and stir in the garlic, cook for about one more minute. Set the pan aside until we’re ready to assemble the pizza.
Butternut Kale Bacon Pizza Assembly
What the heck is Raclette cheese? Raclette is an Alpine Swiss cow’s milk cheese. It’s a superior melting cheese named for the dish it is used for; raclette. Raclette is a French word meaning “to scrape” and the dish known as raclette, is a variety of boiled veggies like potatoes and Brussels sprouts, along with pickled veggies and cold cuts covered in gooey, melted Alpine cheese that has been poured or scraped out of a Raclette Melter, over the veggies and meats. The flavor of the cheese is like Gruyere or Fontina (so use either of those if you don’t see Raclette at the store). To me, Raclette is similar to Taleggio – a strong aroma with a nutty, mild flavor.
OK, enough about Raclette. I am using a pre-made dough from the bakery at my local Publix. Have the oven set to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a sheet pan with olive oil and spread your dough out to mostly cover the pan.
Start with a light layer of grated mozzarella cheese. Top the mozzarella cheese with the roasted butternut slices.
Now top the roasted butternut slices with pieces of Raclette. Since this Raclette is pre-sliced, I am just tearing the slices into smaller pieces. If you’re using Gruyere, you can slice it into thin strips. You can grate it too, but we want thick gooey pockets of cheese, so if you’re grating it, be sure to make little piles of cheese rather than spreading it evenly over the surface.
Now for the kale, spread it evenly over the pizza. Then top the kale with the bacon pieces.
Top the bacon with more Raclette, covering the pizza.
Ready to Bake!
This is ready for the oven. Bake the pizza for about 15-20 minutes, until the dough is puffy and golden and the cheese is melted and beginning to turn a toasty golden color.
When it comes out, slide it onto a wire cooling rack and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. While it’s on the cooling rack, you can check the bottom to be sure the bottom crust is golden brown. If it’s too blond, you can pop it back on the tray and place it on the bottom rack of the oven for another few minutes.
Because this pizza is anything but round (or rectangular, for that matter) I just made one cut down the center and then cut each half of the pizza into four rectangles.
The Raclette on top has a toasted, slightly crispy crust; the Raclette underneath the toppings is thick and gooey. I love the sweet butternut flavor with the salty bacon; and the garlicky kale gives a slightly bitter note – but also shines through with the white wine flavor, which goes so incredibly well with the flavor of the Raclette. It almost has a fondue thing going on. SO GOOD!
Movie Night: Stillwater
We have our Butternut Kale Bacon Pizza ready, so let’s start the movie! Stillwater is finally available to rent this week, so it was at the top of my must-see movie list. At its core, this movie is about the consequences of poor choices. That, and the uphill road to redemption.
Poor choices led Matt Damon’s character, Bill Baker astray from his daughter’s life as she was growing up; and while he struggles to reconnect with her, he continues to make frustratingly bad choices that ultimately lead to the reconnection he wanted; though he loses a lot along the way. Matt Damon does a really great job in this role. He is subtle and stoic, but can come through with the vulnerability necessary to make it up that road to redemption. I really enjoyed this movie and If you like character dramas, this is not one to miss. Available to rent on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play and Vudu.
Thank you so much for joining me today for Pizza and a Movie. I hope you make this Butternut Kale Bacon Pizza, it’s really, really good! See you Sunday for Sunday Supper, take care and be well everyone! xo Kelly
PS: If you’re not using leftover Roasted Butternut Squash and need some direction on breaking down a butternut for roasting, check out my post on Butternut and Ricotta Stuffed Shells for step-by-step instructions.
Butternut Kale Bacon Pizza
Roasted butternut squash, sautéd kale with wine and garlic, thick-cut bacon, and Raclette cheese top a puffy-crusted sheet pan pizza.
- ~1 cup Sliced, Roasted Butternut Squash
- ~6 Slices of Bacon, baked through, but only lightly crisp
- 1/2 Bunch Lacinato Kale, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
- 2 tbsp. Dry White Wine
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 2-4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
- 1 Prepared Pizza Dough
- 1/4-1/2 cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
- 8 oz. Raclette Cheese (or Gruyere)
For the Roasted Butternut
Peel and break down the butternut. Slice the squash into 1/4-inch slices, toss with olive oil, Kosher salt and black pepper. Spread slices on a sheet pan and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the squash is tender and begins to brown.
Bake the Bacon
Lay strips of bacon on a wire rack set in a sheet tray and bake in a 350 degree oven just until the bacon is cooked through (looks opaque, begins to curl and slightly brown). Remove from the oven and let the bacon cool, increase oven temp to 450 degrees. Cut the bacon strips into 2-inch pieces.
Sauté the Kale
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Toss the kale in the skillet and stir occasionally until the kale begins to wilt and turns darker green.
Add about 2 tablespoons of dry white wine and keep cooking the kale until it has softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of Kosher salt and black pepper. Then add the chopped fresh garlic. If you're using a cast iron skillet turn off the heat and stir the garlic into the kale. If you're not using a cast iron, keep the heat on low and stir in the garlic, cook for about one more minute. Set the pan aside until we're ready to assemble the pizza.
Lightly oil a sheet tray with olive oil. Spread the dough on the sheet tray into a roughly 14-16-inch rectangular shape.
Spread the grated mozzarella on the dough.
Evenly distribute the roasted butternut over the mozzarella.
Top the butternut with about 1/3 of the Raclette.
Top the Raclette with the sautéd kale, making sure it's evenly distributed on the pizza.
Then top with the bacon pieces and finish with the rest of the Raclette.
Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is puffy and golden and the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
When pizza comes out of the oven, use a fish spatula to slide the pizza out of the pan onto a wire cooling rack.
Check the bottom of the pizza, and if its not golden, you can place the pizza back in the pan and place on the bottom rack in the oven for a few more minutes.
Let the pizza cool for a couple minutes and then slice into squares or rectangles.