The "Nightshade" Pizza

Posted by francis keyser Monday, November 12, 2012
Taste Level: GR
Cost: $20 and under
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 40-45 min. (With Pre-made Slow Roasted Tomatoes)
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty: 2

The "Nightshade" Pizza was based off of a antipasto salad I made a while back.  Zo and I enjoyed it so much I decided why not make it into a pizza!  So I did and we enjoyed it until the last slice!

(For instructions on how to make your own sourdough pizza skin check posting dated 7/7/09.)

Ingredients:
Pizza
8 oz fresh mozzarella (shredded)
1/2 cup provolone (shredded)
3/4 cup eggplant (sliced into 1/8 inch think slices, then quartered)
9  Sopressa slices
2 shallots (chopped)
1/4 cup Italian frying peppers (chopped)
3 tbsp fresh basil (diced)

Sauce
2-3 fresh tomatoes (quartered)
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh oregano (diced)
1/4 tsp fresh thyme (diced)
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (diced)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh basil (diced)
fresh crack pepper (to taste)

Crust
1 portion of sourdough pizza dough check posting for 7/7/09 or pre-made crust

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Tossing dough
What works best for me is I strongly throw the ball of dough down on a solid flat surface covered with a piece of wax paper until it is large and flat enough for me to easily balance on top of both of my fists. Then I make an X with my arms keeping my fists close together (backhand to backhand, the dough atop of them both) and I fling the dough upwards with my fingers as I simultaneously bring my arms quickly parallel (palm to palm) about 3-4 inches apart. As the dough falls I remake my fists and catch the dough atop them again in the X position and repeat until the dough has formed a 12-14 inch crust.

(Alternately you can lay dough on a solid flat surface covered with wax paper and squish flat with hands. Roll into a ball and slam the dough down onto your solid flat surface covered with a piece of wax paper. Using your fist mush the dough down repeatedly as if you were punching it softly but firmly (this helps get any air bubbles out of it.) Now using your finger tips press and stretch dough until you have formed a 12-14 inch circular pizza skin (you can also make an easier rectangle skin.)

Sauce
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss halved tomatoes in a medium mixing bowl with sugar, salt, oregano, thyme and rosemary until even.  Spread tomato mixture out in a small baking safe dish and slow roast for 1-1 hour 30 minutes.  Once cooked chop and mix together with olive oil, basil and fresh crack pepper.

Pizza
Sprinkle corn meal onto a baking sheet and lay skin on to it. Spread the sauce with a spatula over the entire crust leaving a 1/2 edge. Evenly sprinkle mozzarella over the sauce. Now evenly spread out sopressa slices and eggplant over the mozzarella. Mix together shallots and Italian peppers, then sprinkle evenly over pizza. Top with provolone.

Place pizza on baking sheet lightly coated with corn meal. Arrange your oven racks to where they are on the upper and lower thirds of the oven. If you are using a baking stone as we do place it directly onto the floor of a preheated oven for 45 minutes (but you will be less likely to ruin your pizza stone if you place it on a rack at its lowest position.) Place baking sheet with pizza on the lower oven rack and bake for 7-10 minutes, move pizza on baking sheet to upper rack and bake 7-10 minutes (if cooking a second pizza you can put it on the lower rack now on a separate baking sheet.) Slide Pizza off of baking sheet directly onto baking stone and cook for 3-8 minutes or until crisp and bottom is browning (if you were cooking a second pizza you would move it to the top rack on its baking sheet once you slide the first pizza onto the baking stone and of course you would move it to the baking stone once you have remove the first pizza and cooked the second one 7-10 minutes on the upper rack.) Slide pizza onto a cutting board or baking sheet, sprinkle remaining fresh basil over pizza and use a pizza slicer to cut into 8-10 slices and serve hot with your favorite pizza sides, seasonings and sauces!

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