Pizza Night – Sausage, Hatch Chilies and Tomatoes


 I grew up in a German household and spicy food was never on the menu.  My mom’s cooking was wonderful but would be considered a little on the bland side by today’s standards.  If my parents were feeling a little wild and crazy they might order  kung pao chicken from the local Chinese restaurant but my mother would never have considered cooking it herself.  She may have had a little tin of cayenne pepper in the cupboard, but that was as far as she went.

During my ten plus years as a vendor at the Beaverton Farmers’ Market I have developed a tolerance and appreciation for spicy foods I never tried as a child.  I worked my way up the heat scale with roasted peppers that I use in my favorite Mexican recipes and incorporate into casseroles and vegetables dishes of all kinds.  I’ve sampled all the local varieties except the super hot ones and when I saw a large display of the famous Hatch chilies at the local market I jumped at the chance to try them. They looked innocent enough and certainly within my heat range. Big mistake.

 I roasted the chilies on my grill, then peeled and seeded them.  They are delicate and wouldn’t stand up to stuffing and frying, but are perfect to slice, mince, puree or use whole in Mexican dishes. I like roasted chilies on pizza and thought that this would be a great way to use what I had prepared.  The heat level was high for me, but manageable (so I thought),  so I was generous with the amount I used.  I rolled out my favorite prepared dough, ladled on a generous amount of sauce,  added the roasted chilies, sweet Italian sausage, sliced red onions, lots of mozzarella cheese and topped it all with sliced tomatoes.

Photo from The

W-E-L-L, let me tell you, that baby was hot! It isn’t very often that I eat something that makes me perspire and makes my eye’s run.  I thought the Hatch chili was a medium heat pepper but have read that it can range from mildly spicy to over the top hot. No question about which ones made their way into our local market. Hatch chilies are wildly popular and each year Hatch, New Mexico pays tribute to them with a festival that draws fans from all over the U.S.  They say their growing conditions are perfect and the chilies get their superior flavor from hot summer weather and ideal soil.


If you would like to read about Hatch chilies and the Labor Day Weekend Festival in Hatch, New Mexico you can find the info here.

This post is linked to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Seasonal Sunday at The Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at StoneGable.



  1. says

    This pizza looks so good! Growing up, I never ate ‘take out’ pizza with sausage on it. I don’t know what it was about it, I just didn’t think it belonged on there. But since I’ve been making my own pizza, I LOVE meat on it, especially sausage. Italian, Chorizo, you name it, I like it.

    It just so happens I have italian sausage and roasted/peeled hatch peppers in my freezer to make this! Yay!

  2. Joni Merillat says

    Cathy, sautee a medium chopped onion in olive oil and add 1cup of chopped hatch chiles. Sprinkle in some dried oregano and a little chopped cilantro and a hit of tobasco. Put 2-3 tablespoons on top of a strip or ribeye steak and it’s wonderful! Also good with some mushrooms sauteed in butter.

    We were in New Mexico last weekend getting our yearly supply of roasted green and fresh red hatch chiles…


  3. Pondside says

    Your pizza looks delicious, but I don’t know about the peppers. I’m not a big fan of the really hot – medium does me just fine.

  4. says

    You know how to make a great looking pizza; sure beats take out. I am looking for a good dough. iI really have a hard time with spicy;so even if I love it my stomach reacts. What is your favorite prepared dough?
    I saw you have a recipe from Jan 2010 that looks good, if I can make it in teh brad machine.

  5. says

    How did I miss that you grew up in a German household? Me, too! Mutti didn’t use much spice (except for paprika), so I had to learn to kick up the heat slowly. I’ve learned to love jalapeno, but I still tone down the scoville index with peppers. I’m so sorry this happened to you! It once happened to me with chipotles. I learned my lesson!
    Foodiewife recently posted..Best Peanut BrittleMy Profile

  6. says

    I am not a fan of heat either, I don’t get the whole heat thing anyway.. To me it is not a taste, but rather a sensation, one that I find uncomfortable! Your pizza looks really delicious though. xo
    Barbara F. recently posted..Z is forMy Profile

  7. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    The pizza looks great Cathy! Sorry they ended up being the HOT peppers. Sometimes I get a little carried away and think I’m a Chili Head… doesn’t take much to bring me back to reality:@)

  8. says

    Oh wow! Love spicy food myself. I had a Thai room mate in college, it was then that I learned to appreciate spicy food. Like you, growing-up I was never exposed.

    Last year, I tried hatch chili’s-oh yes, they can be mighty hot. Your pizza looks delicious.

    velva recently posted..Kentucky 95 cocktailMy Profile

  9. says

    Cathy, Your pizza looks delicious, but I might have a difficult time with the heat. Now my husband and son would love, love them. I might like just a little touch. I am now hungry for a beautiful pizza like in your picture.
    Marilyn recently posted..Walk in the GardenMy Profile

  10. says

    The pizza looks SO good! I’ve never met a green chile (Hatch or otherwise) that I didn’t like and always find them as mild as a bell pepper. But then, I love spicy, so I’m not a good judge for the general public as to what is “hot” or not.
    Karen recently posted..Bacon Hash and Broiled EggsMy Profile

  11. says

    This pizza looks really good! Our local Wegman’s had Hatch Chiles for a few days and I stocked up on them. They had mild ones and hot ones- I got mostly mild because like you found out, the hot ones are really HOT! I do love their flavor though, and this is the perfect way to use some of them. :)
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