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Author Notes: This is not strictly a pizza, but it sure is very Italian -- delicate polenta crust topped with a blend of sauteed spinach, pancetta, shallots, gorgonzola, pignoli, and sweet pepper strips. Full flavored, yet delicate. —Eat Already!
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 4 ounces Pancetta, diced
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, slivered
- 3 ounces Gorgonzola, or more if you are a cheese junkie
- 1/2 pound baby spinach
- 1 bright colored sweet bell pepper, sliced
- 1 handful pignoli (pine nuts)
- Make polenta first. In a saucepan, bring water, milk, 1/4 olive oil and salt to a boil. Reduce heat immediately, and pour in the corn. Stirring very frequently, simmer corn for about 15 minutes, until very thick.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment, and drizzle a bit of olive oil on it. Spread polenta on the sheet evenly, to about 1/2? thickness, and shape into a circle, just like a pizza crust. Let cool until nicely set.
- Heat the oven to 425F. Sprinkle polenta crust with freshly ground pepper, and bake for 30 minutes, until nicely browned around the edges. Keep the oven on.
- While crust is baking, prepare the toppings. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute pancetta, shallots and garlic for about 7-8 minutes, until nicely golden and very fragrant. Don’t overcook.
- Remove the pancetta topping into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a bit more oil in the same skillet and saute baby spinach until wilted and dark green, for about 3 minutes or so. Again, remove the spinach and set aside.
- Add pepper slices and saute for a couple of minutes until they are nicely wilted, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Layer your toppings atop polenta crust, starting with cheese crumbs, followed by pancetta mix, spinach, peppers, and finally pine nuts. Arrange everything in a pretty way. Drizzle just a few drops more of olive oil, and put back in the oven for 4-5 minutes.
- Slice like a pizza or cut into 3 inch squares. Serve immediately.
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