Random Recipe – Pizza Alla Norma

2 Jun

I came across a link about eggplant on pizza at the Unorthodox Epicure.  It was the same week I had purchased a case of eggplant from Daisy Mae’s Market that I was desperately trying to use up.  Coincidentally, I had just finished making pizza with eggplant on it, so I was pleased to see that we weren’t the only eggplant pizza fans.  The combination of eggplant, garlic, tomato, basil and ricotta salata, loosely corresponds to an “alla Norma” preparation that you might have seen on an Italian menu somewhere.  It’s delicious.  Note that the ricotta is quite salty, so you will want to go easy on the salt for the eggplant.

We first tried this pizza, many years ago, at a little place called Sorbello’s in Orange Park, Florida that some friends introduced to us.  We haven’t lived in Florida in almost six years, but my parents are still there and my husband keeps Sorbello’s phone number in his cell phone just in case we have the opportunity to order a pizza while we’re visiting my family.  I guess I should mention that he loves it.  His eyes roll back in his head when we talk about it.

So I’m a loving partner and I made pizza alla Norma for my husband, who ate way too much of it.

I do make my own pizza dough, because I enjoy doing that sort of thing from time to time.  I will post the pizza dough soon.  You can freeze pizza dough, too, which makes it easier for the next time.  However, you shouldn’t be intimidated by that.  If you don’t want to mess with a yeast dough, just buy some frozen dough from the grocery.  (But if you haven’t tried making yeast doughs and you have a good mixer, you should give it a go.  It’s quite easy, actually.)

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough, room temperature
  • Marinara
  • Eggplants, 2 medium, cut into 1″ cubes
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh basil
  • Ricotta salata, shredded
  • Mozzarella, shredded (Vegetarians should refer to the Note on cheeses at the bottom of the post)

Preheat oven to 450F.  If you have a baking stone, you should put it in the oven now.  Toss the eggplant and garlic with salt and olive oil and spread evenly on a lightly greased sheet pan.  Roast about 20 minutes until the eggplant is tender.  You don’t have to overcook it at this point, because it will get cooked again with the pizza. 

Stretch the pizza dough to the desired size and thickness and place on a sheet pan.  If you have a baking stone, put the pizza dough on a thin layer of cormeal on the back of a sheet pan to make the transfer easier.  Top with marinara, eggplant mixture, fresh basil and cheeses.  Put the pizza in the oven (or transfer to the baking stone).  Bake until the crust is fully cooked, about 20 minutes unless you have a smokin’ hot oven.

Note :  Professional pizza makers will use ovens that are fired around 600 degrees.  Many home ovens can’t get close to the level of heat.  If you have a a baking stone and you don’t mind the heat, turn the oven up and cook it hotter and faster. 

Note on Cheeses for Vegetarians:  Ricotta Salata is typically made without rennet.  Mozzarella is typically a rennet-based cheese.  You will want a substitute for the mozzarella if you are keeping a strict vegetarian diet.  Refer to the link in my Blogroll or here (Cheese List for Vegetarians) for information on substitutes.

2 Responses to “Random Recipe – Pizza Alla Norma”

  1. Adam J. Holland June 3, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    Thanks for the mention and thanks for visiting my world. The truth is, I’m a meat-eating fool. But nothing beats eggplant on a pizza. And your version looks absolutely divine!

    • Mrs. U. June 3, 2012 at 8:18 am #

      I am not a vegetarian either, but I try to be sensitive (as with the cheeses) where I can be. Thanks for visiting my world, too!

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