Have you ever tried the pizza fired in a 900 degree oven for 60 seconds? Well.. this isn't quite that, but along the same lines. The crust is thin and crispy and the toppings are flavorful yet relatively sparse. So, pretty much opposite of any carry-out pizza you might order. Not that anything is wrong with those pizzas- I'll be the first to admit they are still delicious! Just in a different way. My housemate and I have decided that carry-out and gourmet pizzas belong in two separate food categories, and, of course, you can have a favorite in each category. My favorites in the gourmet category are those with white sauce (basically... olive oil and not red sauce) and any sort of roasted vegetable with garlic. Yep, the vegetable doesn't matter, but the garlic matters:) Here's a great variation to try!

eggplant and goat cheese pizza

1 medium-sized eggplant
Olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 ounces goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
pizza dough

Cut the eggplant into 1/2" cubes, toss with olive oil, and roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Roll out one ball of pizza dough (recipe to follow) to 1/8" and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and place the sliced garlic on top. Scatter the eggplant over the dough and sprinkle with goat cheese and rosemary. Bake at 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the crust begin to brown.

quick pizza dough

1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Add the yeast to the warm water and let sit for five minutes until it begins to bubble. Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. The dough will be a little sticky, but begin to knead on a lightly floured surface, adding flour when it begins to stick to the surface. I like to begin with sticky dough and add flour as I knead so that I don't add too much flour. If you add too much flour, your dough will become tough and not rise as nicely. So, to avoid that, you should just add enough flour so that the dough doesn't stick! After kneading for about five minutes and the dough has a smooth, elastic consistency, transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and let rise in a warm area for 30 minutes. You can also use a standing mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix on low for five minutes. Divide in half to have dough for two pizzas.

special dessert pizza: nutella!

pizza dough

Alright- this might sound crazy, but it is most definitely not. Nutella pizza is amazing. I made the mistake of putting the nutella on while I baked the pizza the first time. Don't do that! It gets dry and toasted and kind of tastes like a burnt marshmallow. But then again, people love burnt marshmallows... Anyways, follow the basic directions above, just let your dough rise a bit after you roll it out into a pizza shape to make it more fluffy and dessert like. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown, then smear nutella over the baked dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for garnish and serve right away while the nutella is melty!

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