Cheesy Meatball Pizza

I love pizza. I could eat it every day if I could. For serious. Plus, pizza is a great thing to share. This weekend I had the lovely and talented Grace Carroll from GracieCarroll.com over to make this family favourite as part of her Friends With Cooking Skillz series. It was great to try out a new recipe for a willing friends.

Meatball pizza was a very rare meal in my house growing up but it is definitely one of the most memorable. In this recipe, I made the dough and tomato sauce from scratch with my mom’s recipes but you can easily buy them both premade. Because why the heck not? Really you could even buy the vegan meatballs premade but I challenge you to give these a go. They are damn delicious and inspired by the vegan meatballs at one of my favourite Toronto food spots, Hey Meatball. So block off a full afternoon in your calender and be prepared to impress.

Dough:

2 tsp. active dry yeast

3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. of lukewarm water

2 c. unbleached bread flour

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

In a bowl, combine the yeast, 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and 1/4 cup of the flour in a small bowl.

Let it stand for 30 minutes. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water, olive oil and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until elastic and tacky, 7 to 8 minutes.

Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in volume, 1 to 1.5 hours. I put mine in the backyard.

Tomato Sauce:

1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz.)

1 can tomato paste

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. dried chilies

a pinch of cinnamon (my mom says it is the secret ingredient)

Combine all of the above ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Meatballs:

1 eggplant, peeled

12 cremini mushrooms

2 portobello mushrooms

2 small yellow onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed,

2 sweet potatoes (I bought the peeled and diced type from the grocery store because it is quicker)

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 c. of dried bread crumbs

pinch of salt and pepper

a handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely

+ 2 c. cheddar Daiya shreds

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Now this is the hard part. Well… the part that takes the most work. Finely chop the cremini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms and eggplant in a chopper. It may take a few batches depending on the size of your chopper. I have a mini one. Cook them all together in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil until almost all of the liquid is cooked off, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the peeled and diced sweet potato onto a baking sheet with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven until brown and soft, approximately 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, transfer them to a bowl and beat with an egg beater until very smooth.

Somewhere in here, add the chopped onions and garlic to another oiled frying pan. Cook until soft, browned and most of the liquid is cooked off.

Mix the mushrooms and eggplant, sweet potato, onion and garlic, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, cumin and parsley in a medium sized bowl until well combined.

Roll the mixture into small balls and place into a oiled frying pan at medium heat. Flip when the first side has browned. Once cooked, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Finally! We can assemble the pizza. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F if it isn’t already.

Split the dough in two and roll out the first ball on your well floured counter top. Transfer to a pizza pan. Top with the tomato sauce, meatballs and 1 c. Daiya cheese.

Bake until the crust is cooked to your liking, around 20 minutes for golden brown. Repeat for the second ball of pizza dough.

Eat!

Don’t forget you can follow The Antique Appetite on Twitter @antiqueappetite, friend me on Facebook AND subscribe to the blog by clicking the link on the right!

Plus, you can check out my collaborator Grace Carroll on Twitter@graciecarroll and on Facebook.

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