When I first moved to Italy I was living in Rome and teaching English, but the money wasn't enough to pay all the bills, so I picked up a second job working for a tour bus company. It was a new start up and quite frankly really, really badly run (went out of business after two or three years but I was long gone by then).
We wore these horrible uniforms that made us look like the French Gendarmerie, had a boss that was completely bonkers and I had to ride around on a bus all day with crazed drivers and the pay was bad, really bad.
On particularly bad days I used to treat my self to a slice of pizza from a baker that was just around the corner from the company's teeny, tiny offices.
A word about pizza in Rome. There are essentially too types of pizza that you can get - the classic pizza Napoletana - which is the round, thin crust wonder that we are all familiar with and then there is pizza al trancio (pizza by the slice).
This type of pizza is baked in rectangular pans and has a much thicker crust and heartier toppings. At that time ('94/'95) a 100 gr slice of pizza cost 1000 lira and a soft drink cost 2500 lira, so with 5000 lira I could get myself a pretty decent and filling meal.
My favourite pizza that this place made was in bianco - no tomato sauce on it at all.
But it did have sausage. And potatoes.
After I stopped working there I really didn't feel like going all the way across town just for a slice of pizza, so I started making it myself.
Sometimes I buy fresh pizza dough from the baker, sometimes I make it myself. This time I tried making it in my bread machine for the first time.
I love the way it turned out and I love how easy it was - just pour in the ingredients and walk away!
200 ml water
45 ml extra virgin olive oi
350 gr all purpose flour
5 gr salt
7 gr active dry yeast
Put all the ingredients into the machine, turn on the appropriate program and wait for the dough to be ready.
When the pizza dough was ready I stretched it onto a 30 cm by 40 cm baking sheet and let it rest for 20 minutes.
250 gr sausage
3 medium sized potatoes
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water until tender.
Remove the sausage meat from the casing and break up with a fork.
Cook the sausage in a pan without any added oil or fat of any kind (it will release its own) continuing to break the meat into small pieces.
When the meat is cooked drain and set aside.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool.
Once the potatoes are cook enough to handle, mash them with a fork or pastry cutter, whatever you have handy, just don't make the potato too smooth, leave it lumpy.
Spread the potato all over the pizza dough, then do the same with the sausage.
Lightly press down on the sausage and potato so that it goes into the dough a little bit.
Season to taste and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Bake at 220°C for 20 minutes.
Serves from 4 to 6 people.