World Cuisine

Aubergine, Basil & Ricotta Pizza

prep 10 mins, plus making the pizza dough cook 50 mins
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) passata
  • 5 large basil leaves, torn
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2–3 small–medium aubergines, sliced lengthways into 5 mm (¼ inch) thick slices
  • 1 quantity Basic Pizza Dough (see page 15)
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 125 g (4 oz) ricotta cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 75 g (3 oz) mozzarella cheese (drained weight), roughly chopped
  • olive oil, for glazing
  • salt
  • basil leaves, to garnish

Combine the passata, basil and garlic in a bowl. Season lightly with salt, cover and leave to infuse while you cook the aubergines.

Heat a ridged griddle pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Add the aubergine, in batches, and cook for 2 minutes on each side until charred on the outside and soft all the way through.

Heat a baking sheet in a preheated oven, 240°C (475°F), Gas Mark 9. Place 1 pizza dough ball on the base only of a well-floured, 23 cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed tart tin. Push down on the dough with your fingertips, pressing it out to fill the base, leaving the border slightly thicker. If you get any tears, forcefully pinch the dough around the hole back together.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the passata mixture over the base, top with a quarter of the aubergines, then scatter with a quarter each of the cheeses. Brush the border with oil, to glaze. Remove the heated baking sheet from the oven, slide the tin on to it, then quickly return to the oven. Bake for 7–8 minutes until crisp and risen. Serve immediately, garnished with basil leaves. As the first pizza cooks, prepare the next for the oven.

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