Socca pizza with prosciutto, broccoli and mozzarella balls

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.

Serves: 4

Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

What You’ll Need:

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

What To Do:

  • 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 minute 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 a 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.

Cooks 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.

Recipes by Dr Joan Ransley for Love Your Gut

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