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  • Writer's pictureGina

Pizza topped with Fresh Mozz, Pesto, Caramelized Onions & Spicy Sausage

Copycat recipe here! One of my top-pick pizzas to have “out” has managed to make its way out of my oven!

Being that our dining options have been sliced to smithereens with COVID and such, I’ve had to get a little creative to see how I could recreate some out-to-dinner favorites.

Which brings me to this pizza recipe. The “#12” at Esposito’s of Matawan and Manasquan, is just incredible. They have a signature sesame crust that is unlike anything you’ve ever had. A carb-crossed affair of a sesame bagel and a crispy pizza crust. So that, along with the fresh mozz, pesto, caramelized onions and spicy sausage, is why this pizza is one of my number 1s. Their #12, my got it?

But since either you can’t get there because you’re out of NJ, they don’t deliver to you (hand-raised here), or you are still opting for only take-out these days......I offer you this recipe.

Not exactly like Espo’s, as I like to call them, but pretty damn close. It encorporates all the goods you‘d find on this pizza, sans the sesame seeds. I guess I could have made a fresh dough and rolled it in seeds and all but let’s be honest......this was a mid-week meal, momma ain’t got time to knead a dough on any given Monday-Friday.

So here it is. My (really good) version of a pizza I can’t wait to go out and have someone else make for me. :)


Pizza topped with Fresh Mozz, Pesto, Caramelized Onions & Spicy Sausage

Servings: Make s 1 12 in. Pizza


1, 12in prepared pizza crust, I used Wegman’s brand- loved!

1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thin

1 tsp sugar

6 slices, about 1/8in thick, fresh mozzarella (about a 1/2 of a ball)

1 spicy sausage link, casings removed

1/4 C prepared pesto, I used Rana Basil Pesto - loved!

1/4 C fresh Parmigianno Cheese, grated

1/2 C shredded mozzarella, divided (not fresh)

3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling at end

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

  1. Prepare the onions: In a medium skillet, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often. (If onions are burning around edges, lower heat to med-low)Add sugar and mix well. Cook for an additional 30 -45 minutes over low heat. Once well browned, remove fron skillet and set aside. (Total time 1hr - 1 hr 15 minutes)

  2. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place pizza stone in oven, if you have.

  3. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a small to medium skillet. Add sausage. Cook for about 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break apart and brown the pieces during that time. Once broken up into nickel size pieces and well browned, use a slotted spoon to remove to a seperate bowl. Set aside

  4. Assemble Pizza:

1. Sprinkle 1/4 C shredded mozzarella all over pizza

2. Place fresh mozzarella slices atop shredded mozzarella, distributed evenly

3. Spoon teaspoons of prepared pesto around pizza

4. Place caramelized onions around pizza, distributed evenly

5. Place sausage crumbles around pizza, distributed evenly

6. Sprinkle Parmigiano cheese around pizza, distributed evenly

7. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 C shredded mozzarella around pizza, distributed evenly

8. Drizzle the top with about 1 TBS olive oil, a pinch of salt and cracked pepper

5. Place on preheated pizza stone and bake for about 15 minutes, checking often. Once cheese is bubbling and the fresh Mozz had browned, it is done!

6. Slice and serve!

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