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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pepperoni Polenta Pizza

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This is not pizza. At least, not pizza in the sense that it might appear from the pictures. Like most (all?) of you, I love a good pizza crust. Thick, thin, crispy, chewy, I'll take any of them! However, if you go into this polenta pizza expecting a crust-like bottom, you might be disappointed. Based on my experiences with polenta/cornmeal, I knew I wasn't going to get a crispy texture...but when I served this to Ryan and Nate, my sister's boyfriend, I was a little bit worried about their reaction. After all, it looked like pizza. It smelled like pizza. But would it taste like pizza?

The pizza flavor is actually dead on. The polenta is, as expected, a little mushy...making this more of a pizza casserole than an actual pizza. We didn't mind though, not one bit! Mixed in with the cheese, sauce, and vegetables, the polenta wasn't at all flavorless, like I worried. If you have issues with the texture of polenta, this might not be your dish. If not, give this a try! It came together quickly, leftovers reheated well, and it's a good pizza alternative for those who need gluten-free alternatives!
One Year Ago: Amaretto Chunk Cookies (one of my favorites!)
Two Years Ago: Tropical Bran Bread

Pepperoni Polenta Pizza
adapted from the allrecipes.com iphone app

-1/2 cup dry polenta (I used cornmeal)
-2 1/4 cups water
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tsp olive oil
-1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
-1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
-3 cups spinach
-1/2 cup marinara sauce
-1/4 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Place cornmeal, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes, until thick. Pour into a greased pie plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled.
2. Preheat oven to 450F. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring until onion is soft. Add spinach and stir occasionally until wilted.
3. Remove pie plate from fridge and spread marinara sauce over the chilled 'crust'. Top with the vegetable mixture, pepperoni, and oregano.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.