Quinn’s Favorite Birthday Meal

Hi Everybody, Quinn here.  It’s my birthday week so I’m taking over the blog to share one of my all time favorite meals. But first, let’s travel back in time and space to Easton, PA in the 1980s, where I grew up.

Back in the day, when it came to going out for dinner there was just one game in town: Pizza D’Oro.  Pretty much every special event in life started or ended at Pizza D (as the cool kids called it).

Their specialty is Sicilian pizza which had the most perfectly salted, fluffy, thick crust, next came a layer of creamy cheese baked right into the dough and topped with a layer of sweet, sweet tomato sauce.  The whole thing is perfection.

But since I can’t get down with the gluten anymore it’s been nearly 3 years since I’ve been able to partake in a perfect Pizza D slice of heaven.  At first it seemed like special occasions and homecomings were destined to be a little less special [sad face].  That is, until I created this recipe. It’s tastes so close to the real thing it’s like eating a slice of home.  In fact, you know what, it might even taste better!

On my birthday all I want is a little taste of home, a moment to stop and remember the good times and with this meal, I can finally have the pizza party in my mouth I’ve been missing these last few years.

So for all of you GF babes out there– this one is for all of us!

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Quinn’s Happy Place Pizza
Servings: 4
Time: 30 minutes

Socca

  • 1 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled + diced (the smaller the cubes, the quicker it will cook)
  • Water or chicken stock (about 2 cups, depending on size of your eggplant/ pot)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons yellow raisins (or 1 handful)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Italian herbs
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Pour 1-1/3 cups water into a medium bowl and slowly whisk in the chickpea flour.  Add salt, pepper and garlic (if using) and allow it to stand at room temperature for as long as possible, at least 30 minutes.

Heat a 10-inch, oven safe (meaning, it does not have a plastic handle that will melt in the oven) non-stick skillet on medium high heat.  Add in the extra virgin olive oil then pour in the chickpea batter and allow it to cook for about 30-60 seconds until the edges harden.  Do not flip.

Place skillet in oven for about 25 minutes, until crisp around the edges and light golden brown.

Allow it to cool for a couple minutes, then place it on a large dinner plate or cutting board before slicing it into pieces.

Have some left overs?  Store any extra pieces in the fridge then pop them in the toaster oven to warm up before eating.

While the crust is cooking, make the sweet tomato sauce

In a medium-sized pot, pour in your extra virgin olive oil and sauté the onions with garlic , salt and pepper over medium-high heat until onions are translucent (about 2 minutes).

Add diced eggplant to the pot, stir to combine then add water/stock.  It should go half way up the eggplant.  I recommend mashing the eggplant with a potato masher or fork to help the eggplant break down more quickly or you can skip this step and it will just take another minute or two to cook.

Cook over medium-high heat until the eggplant browns and begins to soften, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the tomato paste, herbs, and raisins.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Then turn off heat and allow the flavors to marry as it cools.

To prepare the Pizza,  I recommend pre-cutting the crust then slathering each individual piece with a ton of  sauce.

**RECOMMENDATION** Serve this with some salad greens tossed in Magic Lemon Dressing and a hefty sprinkle of nutritional yeast, this will bring the cheese-y flavor.  Get some greens in each bite and it is a total sweet and savory Italian feast.

 

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