Thursday, 9 February 2012

Polenta Pan Pizza

Sometimes I really, really want pizza. But, I hate the frozen kind and when it is snowing outside trotting off to the nearest pizzeria isn't an appealing option. I could make the pizza dough from scratch, but I've got my arthritis wrist splints on and I want pizza quick. So, what's a girl to do? Make polenta pan pizza of course! This is my favourite combination of red onion, rosemary and zucchini but pretty much anything goes so feel free to use your favourite toppings.

Ingredients:
120g/4.5oz quick cook polenta
500ml/1pint boiling vegetable or chicken stock
6 tablespoons tomato/marinara sauce
4 good handfuls of grated cheese or slices of mozzarella
1/4 red onion finely sliced
1/2 courgette/zucchini sliced into thin rounds
Sprinkle of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil (and more for drizzling)

Serves 2 (easily doubled)

Pre-heat the oven to 200c.

Pour the boiling stock into a saucepan and whisk in the polenta over a low heat. Keep stirring briskly for about 3 minutes or until it is thickened. Grease a medium frying pan or skillet with the olive oil and then our the polenta mixture in and smooth out with a spoon until it is even.

Top the polenta base with the tomato sauce, onion, zucchini, cheese and rosemary. Put the prepared pizza into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is molten and bubbling.

Remove from oven an drizzle with extra olive oil. Allow to stand for 5 minutes - this helps the polenta base firm up enough to cut. Slice and serve.

Arthritis diet notes
Polenta is a great gluten-free alternative to a traditional pizza base made with wheat flour. It has a light, creamy taste and soft texture. It is however quite bland on it's own so benefits from being dressed up like in this recipe.

People with inflammatory arthritis (like rheumatoid, psoriatic or ankylosing spondylitis) sometimes also suffer from coeliac disease - another autoimmune condition where sufferers cannot tolerate gluten found in rye, wheat and barley. This is different to a wheat intolerance and can cause symptoms ranging from weight loss, diarrhea, through to joint pains and mouth ulcers. It is typically diagnosed through a blood test or bowel biopsy. If you'd like to find out more, try the NHS Choices site . There are several gluten and wheat-free recipes on this blog.

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