Probably the most famous pizza toppings, pepperoni, packs a lot of flavour in a convenient, inexpensive package. It is zesty, spicy, and gratifying, but not too good for your diet. And is true of another all time favored, Italian sausage. A simple switch to reduce fat pepperoni and poultry or turkey Italian sausage can cut hundreds of calories from your pizza. Pepperoni and sausage are not the only game in town though. Plenty of cured and uncured meats add lots of flavour without adding a lot of calories. Ham, which is frequently paired with pineapple, is excellent with mild cheeses and subtle pizza toppings.

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Capicolla along with other spicy Italian cold cuts work well with some other bold flavours like Kalamata olives, garlic, and roasted red peppers. Prosciutto, the Italian dry cured ham that is sliced paper thin, is very good with sauted onions and Fontina or Gruyere cheese. If you can find apple wood smoked bacon or Vermont cob smoked bacon, they’re especially good. Cook the bacon before adding it to your pizza and drain off the fat. Bacon pairs really nicely with smoked cheeses like smoked Gouda, caramelization onions, wild mushrooms like chanterelles and shitakes, and tomatoes. There are two types of Italian bacon that you may use, if you can find them.

It is cured, but not smoked and frequently comes pre chopped. Guanciale, made from pigs cheeks, has a little stronger flavour and is leaner and more tender. You may also just saute hamburger and use that as a replacement for Italian sausage. It works well with traditional pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Or you may use it for a Mexican pizza with cheddar cheese, green onions, black olives, and jalapenos. If you are attempting to watch your weight or eat healthful, do not forget about chicken. Saute fresh poultry strips, use leftover poultry, or purchase a rotisserie poultry at the grocery.
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Probably the most famous pizzas, a barbecue poultry pizza, goes together in a flash. Just use barbecue sauce instead of pizza sauce, and add red onion rings, Gouda cheese, cilantro, and chicken. Or substitute hot sauce and add some Gorgonzola crumbles to make a Buffalo poultry pizza. Shrimp makes a great Greek style pizza whenever you blend it with tomato, olives, artichokes, and feta cheese. Or pair it with pesto, goat cheese, and pine nuts for a gourmet pie. In case you use them, combine them with some other bold flavours that they won’t overpower like olives, garlic, and tomatoes. Do not rule out smoked salmon, which is great with red onions, capers, dill, and a tangy sauce like crme fraiche.

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