I am not one to order out for pizza. American pizza is typically covered with lakes of grease and positively disgusts me. But I have found one pizza place that offers customizable pizza an interesting array of traditional Italian sauces and whole wheat or multi-grain crust options.
On a night of particularly windy and dismal weather, when I was graving fresh tomato sauce but couldn’t even bring myself to walk six blocks to the grocery store, I decided to try an experiment. I ordered a pizza with puttanesca sauce and no cheese. Basically just dough and sauce. They balked at my order, but with curiosity piqued, made it anyway. The result was delicious and I promptly replicated it for my friends who voted it into our “favorite homemade pizza” hall of fame.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 – 4
- pre-made pizza dough (you can find this in the bakery section of most major supermarkets, but make sure to get dough, not the Boboli-style pre-cooked crust)
- 1 medium-sized eggplant
- 2 gloves garlic
- 1 medium sized can diced tomatoes
- 1 small can chopped black olives
- red pepper flakes
- olive oil
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Peel and chop the garlic cloves and cut the eggplant into cubes (leaving the skin on).
- Add garlic to the pan with 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Cover the pan for a minute because the red pepper will emit a very spicy scent into the air.
- After a minute, at the eggplant cubes to the pan and saute over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Shape the pizza dough by holding it in your hands by the top and let gravity pull out the bottom edge a bit. Keep turning the pizza a few inches until you have made it all the way around twice.
- Lay the dough on your pan and push out the edges to achieve a more or less flat surface. If you are not using a non-stick baking sheet or pizza stone, make sure you spray with Pam or other cooking oil before puting the pizza down.
- After the eggplant has softened and begun to brown, add the tomatoes (without draining the juices) and mix into the eggplant.
- Crush six anchovies into a paste.
- After two minutes, add the anchovies, 2 tablespoons of capers, olives, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the sauce.
- Reduce heat to medium for four to five minutes.
- Spread the sauce evenly over the pizza dough all the way to the edges and pop it in the oven.
- Check on the pizza after ten minutes. The crust should be lightly golden in some spots. Don’t wait till it is golden all over, or the crust will get too hard and tough to bite into.
- Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing.