pizza with lamb meatballs, caramelized onions, and parsley

lamb meatball pizza 7

The disadvantage of only working every other Friday is that the longer 5-day weeks seem like an eternity. When will it end? How can it be only Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday? I have to wake up to an alarm again? Torture! It’s not that I don’t like my job, it’s just that I like the weekends so much more.

lamb meatball pizza 1

I get by by keeping my eye on the prize, and by “prize”, I mean when I come home from work on Friday afternoon, grab my book and a beer, and go sit in the backyard. I plan the rest of my week so that Friday after work is a No Chore Zone. The groceries should be shopped for, the dishwasher should be emptied, the house should not be a pigsty. I don’t want any detours between putting down my work bag and heading out to the backyard to read in the sun.

lamb meatball pizza 2

An hour or two later, refreshed, I’ll come in to make dinner. These long weeks always call for pizza on Friday. If I lived somewhere with a good takeout option, I would welcome that, but instead, I make my own, which has the added advantage of whole wheat crust and skim milk cheese (I think it melts better anyway). Not to mention – when was the last time you saw lamb meatballs on a pizza menu?

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This pizza, one of the best I’ve made recently, is a perfect example of my pizza formula, with savory lamb, sweet onions, bitter parsley, and the traditional acidic tomato sauce and salty cheese. It’s more work than your average pizza, what with the onions needing to be cooked and, most tediously, the tiny meatballs, but it’s worth the extra effort, even on a Friday night after a long workweek – provided that I get my beer and book in the backyard first.

lamb meatball pizza 5

One year ago: Marbled Loaf Cake
Two years ago: Corned Beef Hash
Three years ago: Roasted Baby Artichokes
Four years ago: Rice and Beans

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Pizza with Lamb Meatballs, Caramelized Onions, and Parsley (inspired by Bon Appétit)

Serves 6

I tried this with both fresh mozzarella and the firmer type, and while they were equally tasty, the firmer cheese did a better job of gluing the meatballs to the pizza. Lamb meatballs that roll onto the floor to get coated in cat hair are sad.

12 ounces ground lamb
1 egg
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 onions, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 pounds pizza dough (⅔ of this recipe), fully risen
1 (14-ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes packed in juice (not puree), drained
8 ounces (2 cup) shredded mozzarella
1 ounce (½ cup) grated parmesan
¼ cup minced parsley

1. Use your hands to evenly combine the lamb, egg, ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Form the mixture into balls about ½-inch in diameter. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the meatballs and cook until well browned on a couple sides, about 4 minutes, turning about once a minute with a spatula. Wipe out the skillet.

2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering; stir in the onions and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions just begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened and are medium golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.

3. Meanwhile, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Divide the dough in half; shape each portion into a ball. Let the balls of dough relax for 10 to 30 minutes.

4. Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor 10-12 times, until they’re pureed. Transfer them to a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl and let them drain, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Discard the liquid in the bowl, transfer the tomatoes from the strainer to the now-empty bowl, and stir in a pinch of pepper and ⅛ teaspoon of salt.

5. Flatten the dough, then pick it up and gently stretch it out, trying to keep it as circular as possible. Curl your fingers and let the dough hang on your knuckles, moving and rotating the dough so it stretches evenly. If it tears, piece it together. If the dough stretches too much, put it down and gently tug on the thick spots.

6. Line a pizza peel (or the back of a baking sheet) with parchment paper and transfer the round of dough to the peel, rearranging it to something reasonably circular. Spread half of the sauce over the dough, then top with half of the mozzarella, meatballs, onions, and parmesan. Transfer the pizza to the hot pizza stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom of the crust is spotty brown. Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle half of the parsley over it, and let it cool on cooling rack for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

lamb meatball pizza 8

Comments

  1. Siri says:

    This looks stunning!

  2. branny says:

    The recipe sounds just awesome. And you’re right – I wouldn’t see that on a restaurant menu within 200 miles of my old homestead :)

  3. Tracey says:

    You had me at caramelized onions! I’ve never cooked lamb but I think it’s going to be happening for the first time soon, I need this pizza in my life :)

  4. Audrey says:

    I’m not sure which I want to try first — your Friday system or this pizza!

  5. Brianna says:

    Cheers and happy Friday/pizza night! This looks like an amazing combination. I love meatballs on pizza and I love lamb. Actually, I love all the ingredients on this pizza. So very glad you posted it.

  6. Elise says:

    That pizza is GORGEOUS!

  7. I think you’ve got Fridays right. Beer and pizza and relaxing! Sounds perfect to me. This pizza looks gorgeous!

  8. Cara says:

    I look forward to your Fridays too. I love to hear what kind of pizza you have in store!

  9. Kate says:

    Never would’ve thought to make lamb meatballs for pizza, but this looks phenomenal. One thing–is 500*C a typo?

  10. bridget says:

    Kate – Yes, it is. I think I make that mistake once a month or so! Thanks for letting me know.

  11. bilbaobab says:

    stunning photos!!!! and i’m salivating looking at this!!!! haven’t actually had lamb meatballs on pizza but this is a good reason to try!

  12. Geetika says:

    A beautiful looking pizza. I recently bought a pizza stone and have been using it almost every weekend. Am going to try this one soon!

  13. I love your Friday routine! I’ve definitely never seen lamb meatballs on a pizza menu before…

  14. Great idea for pizza toppings.

  15. Shvin says:

    Practically every Friday night in our home is pizza night. Some of our favorites are a BBQ chikcen pizza, sausage and banana peppers, and my most recent favorite… caramelized onion and pear. So good!I had kind of given up on making my own dough (I was using store bought crusts) until I found Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It is by far the best recipe in my opinion. Your pizza looks delicious!!!

  16. Chelai says:

    I made this the other night but used goat cheese instead since I had a lot on-hand. One word: DIVINE. Thank you!!!

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