Giada De Laurentiis' Smoky Butternut Squash Pizza Has All Our Favorite Winter Flavors

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We’ve never met a pizza we didn’t like. Deep dish, thin crust, New York Style, FroPo (that’s frozen pizza, for the uninitiated), delivery, homemade — it’s hard to go wrong. But we have a confession. Even though we love the combination of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and crust, it can start to get, well, a little teeny tiny bit boring. It’s sacrilege, we know. But tomatoes aren’t the only vegetable that can be turned into a pizza sauce. And Giada De Laurentiis, author of Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita, agrees.

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Courtesy of Clarkson Potter.

De Laurentiis is known for her fun twists on classic Italian recipes, and this butternut squash and mushroom pizza recipe is no exception. If you’ve been getting bored of plain old red sauce pizza, this could be the recipe that puts a new pep in your step.

Rather than using a tomato-based sauce for her pizza, De Laurentiis opts for Bio Orto butternut squash sauce. It’s pre-made, which means your pizza can still be made in minutes, but it totally changes the flavor profile of the pizza.

Courtesy of Bio Orto.

The butternut squash sauce adds a sweet, earthy, and fresh flavor to the pizza. It’s perfectly accentuated by smoked mozzarella, and the pizza is topped with caramelized mushrooms. Basically, it’s like what a little forest elf that lives in a hollowed out hickory nut tree would make for pizza night, and this time of year, there’s nothing we want more than to be in that same cozy state of mind.

Courtesy of Dave’s Gourmet.

Though you can get it online, if you’re having a hard time finding butternut squash sauce, you can always try making some yourself. Just roast a halved, seeded butternut squash along with a head of garlic until tender. Scoop out the squash flesh from its skin, squeeze out the cloves of roasted garlic, and puree with some salt, pepper, and your preferred seasonings, and maybe a splash of olive oil or veggie broth to thin the sauce as needed. It’s really that simple, and tastes even better than what you can get from a jar.

From the chewy, yeasty pizza crust, to the smoky, savory flavor of the melted mozzarella and the sweet earthiness of the butternut squash sauce, this could be the ultimate winter pizza recipe.

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