The Unexpected Ingredient To Add To Your Pizza This Fall

People have enjoyed pizza for centuries, and it's a fare that satisfies one's comfort food craving at any time of the year. Sprinkle a little extra cheese and your favorite fresh toppings, and you're in for a real treat.

Over the years, the classic pizza has changed quite a bit. Gluten-free crusts exist today for those sensitive to wheat. Toppings have evolved to incorporate mac and cheese and Barbacoa (via Professor Pizza). More unique pizza toppings include goat cheese, rhubarb, honey chicken, and calamari (via Eat First). Traditionally, pizza sauce was made with a tomato base consisting of a zesty combination of spices, onion, garlic, oregano, and basil (via 575 Pizzeria). Today, sauces range from alfredo to pesto and tapenade (via Wise Bread). If you can imagine it, it's probably been done.

There's yet another unexpected topping you may not have considered adding to your pizza, and this component is perfect for fall. 

Add pumpkin to your pizza

You may be surprised to learn that pumpkin is the plant-based ingredient you should add to your pizza this fall. Pumpkin and pizza aren't a typical combo, but the flavors marry into quite the masterpiece when done right. Serious Eats says the trick to obtaining the best-flavored pizza is to slow roast the pumpkin. Rather than place slices of raw pumpkin on the pizza for baking, the site recommends a roast and mash technique.

Before diving into the roasting method, we must mention that traditional orange pumpkins used for carving at Halloween are not the type of squash used for this pizza. These pumpkins are stringy and don't have much flavor. Instead, Serious Eats recommends kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) or sugar pumpkins for their less stringy, more intense, flavorful flesh. 

Toss a quartered pumpkin in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast until tender. As the pumpkin slow-roasts, it caramelizes and sweetens as the enzymes in the squash break the starches down into sugar. Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin's skin, add seasonings, and mash to a chunky consistency. Next, sauté the mashed pumpkin with apple to accentuate the flavor and texture and spread the mix onto the crust. Sprinkle the pie with toppings that complement pumpkins, such as fresh torn sage, shallot, pancetta, Gruyère cheese, fontina, or mozzarella (via Chisel and Fork). Bake on a baking sheet or stone until golden brown and bubbly.

Add a little pumpkin to your pizza and enjoy a new kind of pie this fall!