Everyone loves pizza. It is a treat with a sense of comfort and generosity. Pizza is delicious warm or cold and equally in my house its acceptable to be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I prefer homemade pizza though, as I have control over how the dough is made, in terms of what goes into it, the length of the prove and more importantly the endless toppings. With our ever-increasing awareness of eating too many carbohydrates, I introduced my family to polenta pizza a few years ago.
Polenta is always a welcome treat however I tend to find the UK palate struggles with this simplistic gluten free grain. The key to fall in love with polenta is flavour. Use a good quality stock and not just water to make the polenta, remembering to finish with a little butter, fresh herbs, and lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. For this pizza base it would need to be a little firmer than normally as you need to make, chill, bake and slice it as required. A grain that hails from the northern regions of Italy really does resemble the simple values from the southern Italian cucina povera kitchens.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Pre-heat oven: 190C
800ml stock (or milk)
200g instant polenta
Salt & pepper, to season
1 tsp. marjoram or oregano
25g butter (I use salted)
80g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Pizza sauce (your choice)
250g mozzarella, roughly torn
Cured meat, as required, plus additional favourite toppings
Fresh basil, to scatter
- Warm the stock or milk in a shallow pan.
- Gently whisk in the polenta. Continue to whisk as this will disperse any lumps. If whisking is too labour intensive, then use a wooden spoon with a hole in the centre. Beat the polenta and ensure you cook out the grains.
- Cook for approximately 8 minutes.
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the butter and 50g of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Stir and taste for additional seasoning.
- Take 2 pre-lined baking trays and spoon on the polenta using a spatula to make four round disks to the size of a small dinner plate approx. 20cm in diameter.
- Spoon on some pizza sauce and sprinkle over a little freshly torn mozzarella and cured meat.
- Bake for 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven.
- Grate over some of the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano and sprinkle with fresh basil.
- Slice and enjoy with a rocket salad and drizzle of balsamic.
Carmela’s tip: Use the mozzarella water from the bag of fresh mozzarella and use this in the polenta for added flavour.