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.
TerryOctober 29, 2021 at 10:38 am
Yumm this looks really good I will most definitely give this shot… have a great Friday
Go braves ???Mom
Kelly DjalaliOctober 29, 2021 at 11:24 am
Happy Friday, Mom. I think you will like this pizza! xo Kelly
MariOctober 29, 2021 at 11:01 am
Yet another good movie I hadn’t heard of. The trailer drew me in almost immediately, so I know what I will be doing later today, besides laundry and keeping the birds from chewing on things they have no business chewing on! If it’s wood, string or anything that catches their interest, or if they are bored, they start exploring, and that means destruction. It’s a full time job some days. Speaking of chewing on things, that’s a pizza that even the most stubborn vegetable phobic person could get behind. I like squash and I especially love it this time of year. There is something about chilly air, brisk breezes, and leaves crunching underfoot that makes squash a frequent guest on my table. The kale and squash colors look perfect together, and the bacon and cheese are a wonderful addition. I don’t know how you come up with all these brilliant ideas, but we are all grateful. And hungry.
Now on to the Chef’s Challenge. This was a tough one to narrow down. I enjoy a good, scary movie, and I love Halloween, but I didn’t want a list of movies where adolescents get killed immediately after having sex, so that severely limited the competition. These really aren’t about Halloween at all, but one is a bit gory, and packs a punch with fright and laughter mixed together. One is creepy and can be frightening, and one will scare the hell out of you. Let’s set the scene for movie madness and badness.
The evening us crisp with gentle breezes. Kelly has a bowl of candy ready for any goblins that show up, and is getting ready for a party. There are bowls of ingredients and pans of pizza dough to assemble. The door bell rings and Kelly opens the door. No one is there, so she closes the door. She turns around, and nearly drops the bowl of candy. Standing in front of her are Pinhead, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Invisible Man. She invites them to have a seat while she fixes them each a drink. What are they drinking? Aside from the Wicked Witch cackling and hissing, and the constant disappearance of the Invisible Man, and Pinhead making vile threats in stentorian tones, it’s your typical Halloween party. The doorbell rings again. It’s Dracula and he is thirsty. He mixes a Bloody Mary and joins the other three on the sofa. Kelly and Alex’s friends arrive. They are used to Alfred, Rod, and strange things, so four horror icons don’t faze them. To keep her invited guests safe from the uninvited guests, she grabs some DVDs to entertain them. The movies are The Exorcist, The Evil Dead, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. The Exorcist is a truly creepy movie. I read the book and then saw the movie. Let’s just say that I only watched it once. I went with my brother Rob who made it more enjoyable with jokes and sarcastic asides. This is one you really have to be ready for! Watch it with someone like my brother, and you won’t have too many nightmares. Hopefully. The Evil Dead is a cult classic. You either like a smart mouthed hero, murderous ghosts, and chain saws, or you don’t. Personally, I do. This movie catapulted Bruce Campbell to stardom. Now to my favorite movie. Well favorite eerie creepy movie. Something Wicked was always streamed on the Disney Channel, but it isn’t on this year. I had to buy it from Walmart. I like it enough that I should have bought it years ago. It’s from a Ray Bradbury short story, and the screenplay was written by Bradbury, so it’s true to the book. The acting is superb, with Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce leading a very good cast. Price’s Mister Dark is mesmerizing, unforgettable, and truly frightening if you think about it. Don’t do that!
Pick a pizza for each movie, and don’t let anyone else in! Happy Halloween to Kelly, Alex, Terry and blog fiends everywhere. We live in a rural area, near a busy highway, so there are no children in costumes ringing my doorbell, which ruins the magic of Halloween, but we do have scary movies and pizza, so it’s a win.
Kelly DjalaliOctober 29, 2021 at 11:54 am
Hi Mari, This Halloween party sounds scary! Especially because of Pinhead. I have been scarred for life by the slumber parties that mostly consisted of watching scary movies when I was a kid (me, from behind my hands or pillows that covered my eyes in such a way that didn’t make me seem totally uncool for hating scary movies).
I have gotten better about scary movies, but I have a line that I won’t cross. Did you ever see Watcher in The Woods, with Bette Davis? It came out in 1980. Because it was a Disney movie, we were fooled into thinking it wasn’t scary, but it is so creepy and scary. Even now. My Mom will attest that my sister and I watched it all the time, but I also hated it. Horror movies are so weird that way.
Anyway, todays challenge…again it’s super tough. I haven’t seen Something Wicked…I will have to check it out!
I think The Exorcist definitely needs to be a pizza with pesto dolloped on top, you know because of the famous scene with the projectile green stuff.
Not to cheat, but doesn’t last week’s Detroit Style Pizza seem perfect for Evil Dead?
For Something Wicked This Way Comes, since a demented carnival is the central location, maybe a totally weird pizza with carnival food would be appropriate. I am thinking, instead of traditional pizza dough, pretzel rolls sliced in half; topped with cheddar cheese, Taylor ham slices, and jalapeños. Kind of a soft pretzel/hot dog situation. That sounds so weird, but could be good. And I guess Halloween is for the bizarre! Thanks Mari, for another fun challenge. Have a safe and happy Halloween! xo Kelly
MariOctober 29, 2021 at 12:42 pm
My kids watched that Bette Davis movie when they were little, and made me sit with them every time they watched it, so I will never watch that one again! Bette Davis always did a great disturbing character. Even when she wasn’t necessarily being bad, I always suspected her of mayhem. It was the eyes and the face set in a permanent sulk that did it. I really like the idea of the carnival food pizza. It sounds fun, and thumbs up to Pesto Pizza and the Detroit style pizza. All good choices. If Dracula stopped by the blood bank so he could make a Bloody Mary, I’m thinking Pinhead would drink a vodka gimlet, the suave but disturbing Mister Dark would have a champagne cocktail, and the Invisible Man would have Everclear with Coke. The Wicked Witch would go against type and drink a Shirley Temple cooled with the frozen tears of Toto and Dorothy. That’s what I suspect anyway.
Kelly DjalaliOctober 29, 2021 at 12:47 pm
You know, I was so focused on the pizza, I skipped over the cocktails! I love your suggestions, and I think they’re perfect. Especially the Wicked Witch!