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Digestive Wellness

Gut-friendly recipes: Socca pizza

Love Your Gut nutritionist and cook, Dr Joan Ransley has looked at ways you can take inspiration from top food trends and has created recipes that are full of gut-friendly dietary fibre, prebiotics and polyphenols without being bland or boring.


Socca pizza with prosciutto, broccoli and mozzarella

Socca is a gluten-free, Italian pancake dish made with chickpea flour. Chickpea flour contains plenty of dietary fibre and galacto-oligosaccharides that provide food for beneficial microorganisms in the gut to feed on.

Broccoli contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are thought to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria. This can help to keep the lining of the gut wall healthy.  Eating a diverse range of plant-based foods promotes a varied range of beneficial gut bacteria, which helps to keep the gut healthy.

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

For the socca pizza bases

  • 150g chickpea (gram) flour
  • 50g grana Padano cheese, finely grated
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 70ml olive oil
  • 375ml cold water

For the topping

  • 3 red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 200g tender stem broccoli
  • 80g prosciutto
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 125g mozzarella pearls
  • small handful basil leaves

Method

To make the bases:

Put the chickpea flour, grated cheese and salt in a large bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil and enough of the water to form a thick pouring batter. Leave to rest for half an hour.

For the caramelised onion, put the onion, a drizzle of oil, sugar and salt in a large pan and cook over a medium heat for 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed garlic. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To cook the socca pizzas. Heat a drizzle of oil in the frying pan and pour in enough batter to cover a 20cm (8 inch), non-stick frying pan. Fry gently on a medium heat for 5 minutes and then flip over and cook for five minutes more. Transfer the socca pizza to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter to make four bases.

Turn the oven on to 180oC/Gas mark 4.

Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes and drain. It will still be firm.

To assemble the pizzas:

Dollop each base with caramelised onions, broccoli, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls. Place in the hot oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve sprinkled with torn basil leaves.

Cook’s tip:

The batter can be made by placing all the ingredients in the goblet of a liquidiser and processing for 30 seconds. This creates a smooth, easy-to-pour batter.

Variation:

The bases can be topped with spinach and ricotta, or mushrooms and slices of butternut squash.

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