Take-out pizza was a fairly regular thing in our house when I was growing up. It was so exciting on a Saturday or Sunday night to get to dream up all the possibilities your pizza could be this time and I would watch the clock like a hawk (and get very angry if the pizza delivery guy was even a minute late!). Pizza was the ONLY meal I was allowed to eat on the couch so it was a special treat to be able to sit down with my parents and watch a movie, eat the pizza, and inevitably burn my mouth in the process because I just could not wait a second longer! I always find it funny how much I loved pizza considering as a kid I hated cheese. I would hate the pizza places that put a lot of cheese on though and hated when the pizza got a little chilled- the cheese would take on this rubbery texture that I was not a fan of. Never-the-less, piping hot pizza and me were tight.
This recipe is another recreation of an old favourite. I posted a lasagna recipe on Friday that used a tofu ricotta and I wanted something to use the other half of the recipe. I made a similar pizza to this before with tofu ricotta and it turned out amazing so I thought I would make it again to share here!
By the way, starting this blog has been awesome because it’s given me and excuse to revisit loads of recipes I’ve made before. I mean, I just can’t keep them all to myself, that would be selfish ;)
So what’s different about this pizza? No meat, no cheese, and no flour-based crust! Instead I made a polenta crust that’s literally just cornmeal and veggie broth. Seriously the easiest crust you will ever make. Then it’s topped with loads of yummy things like tomato sauce, tofu ricotta, spinach, olives and cherry tomatoes. I even threw a little Daiya on there since I had a little left of the bag to use. It’s always a sad day when my Daiya cheese is gone :(. But this recipe is super delish and completely makes up for it!
Tofu Ricotta Pizza with a Polenta Crust (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
I didn’t give specific amounts for most of the toppings because I just threw on what looked good, and different people like different amounts of toppings. So just do what you feel.
Polenta Crust (recipe from here)
- 1 1/4 cups coarse cornmeal
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or 3 cups water and 1 bouillon cube like I did!)
- 1/4-1/3 of a jar of marinara sauce mixed with a couple tbsp of tomato paste (or your favourite pizza sauce). We didn’t have any and I didn’t want to make my own (read:laziness)
- 1/2 a recipe of tofu ricotta
- canned sweet red peppers (we had a jar that needed to be used up, regular red bell peppers would be goo as well!)
- kalamata olives, sliced
- italian seasoning mixed with red pepper flakes for a kick
- Daiya mozzarella (totally optional, not really necessary, maybe some nutritional yeast instead?)
- salt and pepper to taste (should definitely add a little salt if you forego the Daiya)
- cherry tomatoes
Line a 9 x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper
Combine the cornmeal and stock (or water and bouillon) in a medium saucepan*. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer stirring constantly for about 5-10 min until it thickens and starts pulling away from the pot. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out so it covers the pan evenly. Let sit for 20 min, then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill for another 30 min or more. You can do this way ahead of time if you want, even the day before!
*On her website, Cara blends the cornmeal and broth in a blender first, then cooked it. Probably would leave to a smoother crust. I didn’t do this so mine definitely had texture to it, which I liked!)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF and once heated, pop that crust in the even and bake for 40 min or until firm. Then you add the toppings (can use what I did or really whatever you want, this is your pizza night!) and return to the oven for another 10-15 min, until the toppings are heated through! I put everything on except the cherry tomatoes, baked for 10 then added the cherry tomatoes and baked for another 5. That way they don’t get too mushy. No one like mushy tomatoes (unless you do, then that’s cool ;) )
Let cool for a few minutes then slice ‘er up.
And you’re DONE! Super easy and endlessly variable. All the best parts of pizza without having to bother with the dough!
Served up with a simple romaine salad with cherry tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette.
And yes, I did burn the roof of my mouth. Wouldn’t be pizza night if I didn’t.