If I could only chose one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would be pizza – mainly because there are so many delicious variations it would be hard to ever get sick of it. I love to create different flavor combinations, and this is one I started playing around with last summer when my garden was producing an abundance of small eggplants. My latest tweak is the addition of garlic-oil sautéd bread crumbs to sprinkle on the pizza right before serving. I used the garlic oil in the sauce as well to give it an added dimension of flavor. The result was delectable, and my husband and I almost finished 2 pizzas by ourselves!
I realize this recipe is long and seems like a lot of work, but don't bail without giving it a chance. Once the dough is made, the rest of the prep can be done in about the time it takes to adequately heat the pizza stone or steel. The pizza cooks quickly, too, so you can feasibly be eating your first slice an hour or so after getting started with prepping your toppings. Notes: Feel free to use a different dough recipe if you've got a favorite, or even ask a local pizzeria if they will sell you a couple of dough balls. I like to work with the dough straight from the fridge – when it's warm it stretches too easily. I also like to divide my toppings ahead of time so that once I start using them I don't lose track of quantities (but that's probably a bit obsessive). If you have trouble finding a 14.5 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, you may use a 28 ounce can instead – just double the sauce ingredients, and use 3 ½ tablespoons oil and 2 garlic cloves to infuse the oil. I'm sure you'll find another use for the leftover sauce.