Eggplant and Bolognese Pizza

Eggplant Pizza

I’m thinking about making a New Year’s resolution to make and eat pizza at least once a week. That’s because pizza is just such a comforting and delicious food to eat, isn’t it? And the best thing about making homemade pizza is that you can make it as healthy or as naughty as you want. Personally, I love making healthy pizza that tastes naughty! I do that by always using whole wheat crust and fresh, delicious ingredients.

But it all starts with a wonderfully healhty homemade crust. I use what is now my go-to recipe for homemade pizza crust that I slightly adapted from my blogger buddy Chef Chuck. The only thing I do different to the recipe is use whole wheat flour, add dried rosemary, and use a little more vinegar and salt.

If you’re worried that making your own dough is too time consuming, don’t be! It really takes just a few minutes of your time – especially if you have a KitchenAid with a dough hook. But don’t even worry if you don’t have one – kneading dough for about five minutes can be fun – really!

One last note about making your own pizza: Everything can be customized to your taste. That means you can make the size of pizza you want, add more or less sauce, and even change up the ingredients. Don’t like eggplant? Use mushrooms! Like ricotta cheese instead of mozzarella – use it! You get the point.

Either way, just have fun with it and enjoy!

Eggplant Pizza

Eggplant and Bolognese Pizza
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: several
 
Ingredients
  • For the dough
  • 4½ cups all white whole wheat (I prefer King Arthur’s)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional for rubbing on dough balls)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • a little rosemary (optional)
  • For the topping, use more or less of ingredients to taste
  • ½ cup slices mozzarella cheese, sliced in small pieces or shredded
  • 1 cup tomato sauce ( or use 4-5 fresh small tomatoes). Or prepare bolognese ahead of time. My recipe can be found here: http://bit.ly/ti6gY4)
  • 1 small eggplant, cut in small 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsely, roughly chopped
  • crushed red pepper if desired
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano cheese if desired
  • a little cornmeal to dust on pizza
Instructions
  1. For the dough, add the yeast to the 2 cups of water for several minutes until it becomes foamy. Add the sugar, olive oil and vinegar.
  2. While the yeast is dissolving in the water, add the flour, rosemary and salt to food processor jar and pulse a couple times.
  3. Add the water and yeast mixture gradually to the flour mixture and process until the dough begins to form a ball and comes away from the sides of the container. Turn out onto floured surface. Sprinkle with flour and knead for several minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  4. Place in bowl rubbed with olive oil, cover with towel and let sit for 1½ to 2 hours until it doubles in size.
  5. While the dough is rising, prepare the eggplant by frying in olive oil in a small pan until lightl golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  6. Back to the dough: After two hours, turn out onto lightly floured surface, knead a couple times and cut in ½ or in three equal pieces. Form into neat balls and use as needed. To use the next day, rub lightly with olive oil, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight (I prefer using the next day for better flavor).
  7. For the pizza, preheat oven (with pizza stone if you have one) to 500 degrees F. Place rack in the center of the oven.
  8. Stretch out your dough and push downward in center with fingers to desired shape and size.
  9. Dust pizza peel (or parchment paper) with a little cornmeal and lay down your dough on top of it, reshaping it and leaving a little more thickness on the edges.
  10. Spread out layer of sauce in center of dough, leaving about an inch for the crust. Arrange eggplant pieces and cheese evenly over sauce. Sprinkle top with fresh parsley.
  11. Lightly rub a tiny bit of olive oil on the edges.
  12. Slide onto pizza stone and let cook for about 10 minutes until cheese is bubbling and crust looks browned.
  13. Remove and garnish with the fresh parsely, parmigiano cheese and crushed red pepper if desired.

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