Gourd-eous! At her childhood home in Rhode Island, Olivia Culpo tells Us Weekly, "My mom has a pizza pan that's been in our family for four generations." With her roots in mind, the model, 24, devised a sweet and savory seasonal dish for the latest issue of Us Weekly: pumpkin and bacon pizza. See the simple recipe below!
It's no surprise that her concoction stars autumn's signature squash. "I love fall," the 2012 Miss USA, who now calls L.A. home, raves to Us. "There are a lot of traditions I've been doing since I was a little girl growing up in New England: hay rides, pumpkin picking, baking with apples."
The slightly time-consuming process of scooping out seeds is worth the payoff for this dinner delight, which uses whole-wheat pizza dough as a healthier alternative to traditional dough.
Culpo credits mom Susan "for teaching me how to cook," adding that the Food Network was helpful as well. "I grew up watching the Food Network. It's something my mom and I did together, so I do it a lot when I'm away from my family because it reminds me of growing up."
Pumpkin & Bacon Pizza
1 medium sugar pumpkin, quartered, deseeded and wrapped in foil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp honey
1 lb whole-wheat pizza dough, at room temperature
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup bacon (about 6 oz), chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup arugula
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the deseeded pumpkin quarters on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Let cool.
2. Remove foil and pumpkin skin. Cut pumpkin into rough cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the honey on top.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the whole-wheat pizza dough into a circle, and place it on the baking sheet. (Use a little flour on your hands and the sheet if the dough feels too sticky.) Season with salt and pepper to taste, as well as the garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella on the dough and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. In a skillet on medium-low heat, cook the chopped bacon until fat has rendered and the bacon is just starting to crisp, about 7 to 8 minutes.
5. Remove pizza from the oven and sprinkle with pumpkin cubes and bacon. Add dollops of the ricotta to pizza and bake for another 15 minutes.
6. Remove pizza from oven and add the arugula and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus more honey, over the finished pizza, if desired.
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