Hubs and I have a very important on-going debate. It isn't about balancing the budget, or funding education, or healthcare regulations. It isn't even about the new trim color for the house, or if I should cut off my hair again, or who should pick up puppy poo in the backyard. Our debate is of far more importance. We disagree on something so fundamentally basic that most people don't even think about it.
Sauce on the pizza? or not?
I don't care for a lot of sauce. I don't want a juicy pizza. I don't want tomato goo (even wonderful basil and garlic tomato goo created from my ripe, red garden tomatoes and lovingly cooked and canned by yours truly) squirting into my mouth whenever I take a bite of perfectly crisp, but slightly chewy crust (recipe perfection in the works) and whatever toppings are grabbing my attention at the moment. Honestly, in my opinion, the best pizzas don't even have a sauce, like Garlic Chicken Pizza and Roasted Veggie Pizza. I love a smear of the the unexpected as the base for other toppings on our Italian pies. Bleu Cheese dressing is fabulous on Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and pesto rocks on a Chicken and Pesto Pizza with Red Grapes. Sometimes, I brush our crusts with garlic infused olive oil and top with thinly sliced tomatoes before adding other toppings. However, I will concede that a good old pepperoni pizza must have sauce, but...PLEASE! don't be too heavy handed with it. As I said, I want pizza, not a mouth full of tomato goo.
On the other side of this debate, Hubs loves his sauce. Gooey, drippy, juicy, saucy pizza is his favorite. I fight to be the one that adds the toppings on our homemade pizzas to avoid his sauce dripping ways. If he starts pizza prep, I will stand vigil and warn not to add too much sauce and sometimes bark out unpleasantries if his spoon dips into the sauce jar once too often. (Really, I am not a tyrant. I just don't like overly sauced pizza.)
That being said, Eggplant Parmesan Pizza *NEEDS* its sauce. Sauce is an integral part of Eggplant Parm, and a less than saucy pizza mimicking this pasta classic just doesn't quite cut it. In this ONE instance, I must concede to Hubs' saucy ways. Please, just make sure your sauce is stellar. Don't settle for second rate tomato glues. Choose something wonderfully aromatic with garlic and basil and oregano and onion. Let the sauce cradle the breaded eggplant layer and be a bright contrast to the melty cheese. Sauce is the vehicle that balances the crust and eggplant for this pizza. You have my approval to...just this once...be saucy.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 large eggplant, sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 pizza crust (pre-made or your own recipe)
1 cup pizza sauce (or pasta sauce)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 375.
Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside.
In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water.
In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets.
Bake until golden brown on bottom, about 15 minutes; turn slices and back about 10-15 minutes longer.
Raise oven heat to 400.
Top pizza crust with sauce, eggplant, and cheeses.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until crust is baked through and cheeses are melty and bubbly. (Serves 4-6...but, Hubs and I ate the whole thing)