What say you to a no-kneed, gluten free, crispy pizza base? Well look no further. I have found the easiest one yet.
I have long been a fan of polenta. Its a great source of fiber (ideal for digestive movement) and the quick cook stuff is speedier than boiling rice. It can be served in a number of different ways, from a soft (mashed potato alternative) to cakes and breads. In all things I use it for, it adds an indulgent feeling creaminess and a sweetness that I find hugely comforting. Those that know me will know of my cornbread obsession… I am still yet to find a brunch place better than Andina (Shoreditch) and Milk (Balham) to satisfy my favourite cornbread and egg combo.
The great thing about this recipe is all it requires is a bit of stove top ‘boil and stir’ action and 25 mins in a hot oven and it is ready for you pimp as you like. I use sausage and parmesan, because it was what I had in my fridge, but you can add whatever you like.
The texture the base takes on is part pizza, part flatbread. Less doughy, more cakey, it has a tendency to be soft at the bottom, so cooking wise more is certainly better, to ensure a nice crisp base.
If you fancied trying this recipe another way, you could easily pour the batter into a small loaf tin, leave to set in the fridge, then slice and pan fry for a polenta bread alternative. This is delicious with sautéed mushrooms and eggs on a weekend brunch.
Sausage and Greens Polenta Pizza Recipe
Makes one large pizza/ serves 2
- 125g soft, fast cook polenta
- 750ml water
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large, good quality sausages
- 125g parmesan, grated
- 2 cups / 100g finely chopped cabbage
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- zest 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C/ 430 degrees F
Add the water and polenta to a saucepan and place on the stove over a high heat. Bring to the boil and cook, continuously stirring, until the mixture starts to thicken. Once it reaches the texture of mashed potato, take it off the heat and add 1/3rd of parmesan cheese.
Grease a large baking dish (approx 30-45cm) and dust lightly with polenta. Alternately you can use a greased piece of baking parchment to cover your baking tray and prevent any sticking too. Leave the polenta mixture to stand for 10 minutes and then pour it onto the baking tray, Use a spatula to smooth it out, so it is flat and even, then place the polenta base in the oven to cook for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the cabbage and rosemary to a frying pan with the olive oil. Fry it over a medium flame for 5 -10 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft. Its better to cook it less at this stage, because it will be going in the oven later.
Once the polenta base has had its 25-30 minutes and started developing some colour, remove it from the oven and set aside. Increase the heat of the oven to its highest (240 degrees C approx) Take each of your sausages and cut an incision on one end and squeeze the meat out of its casing. Dot the meat over the pizza evenly, then top with the cabbage and grated parmesan. Finally dust with the smoked paprika and season with sea salt. Place the pizza back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before slicing and serving. Best served with a side of greens or leaves.