“Sgagliozze and popizze are sold in the streets of Bari Vecchia in Puglia. Pinzimonio (from “pinzare”, pinch, and “monio”, from matrimonio) means pinch a vegetable and marry it with the best extra-virgin olive oil you can find.”
- To serve: extra-virgin olive oil, sliced baby fennel, Dutch carrots, celery heart, preserved cherry tomatoes (see note)
- 6 Roma tomatoes, thickly sliced lengthways
- 150 gm (½ cup) rock salt
- 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
- 500 gm polenta
- 16 gm dried yeast (about 2 sachets)
- 500 gm (3 1/3 cups) plain flour
- For deep-frying: olive oil
- 7 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 65 gm pitted black olives, finely chopped
- 1For semi-dried tomatoes, preheat oven to 100C fan-forced. Place tomato slices on a wire rack placed over an oven tray, scatter with salt and stand until liquid begins to seep from tomatoes and salt becomes translucent (20-30 minutes), then roast until semi-dried and deep red (3-4 hours). Set aside to cool, then brush off excess salt.
- 2Meanwhile, for sgagliozze, bring salt and 1.6 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add polenta in a steady stream, stirring continuously, until incorporated, then cook, stirring continuously, until polenta is cooked and very thick (35-40 minutes). Spoon onto a wooden board, spread to 1.5cm thick, set aside until cool and firm (1-2 hours). Cut into 5cm squares, set aside. Makes about 24.
- 3Meanwhile, for popizze, combine yeast and 300ml lukewarm water in a bowl. Set aside until frothy (8-10 minutes). Combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, add yeast mixture and 100ml water, stir, adding more water if necessary, to form a wet dough. Cover and set aside in a warm place until tripled in size (2-3 hours). Heat oil in a deep-sided saucepan to 190C. Gently stir anchovy and olive into dough with a wooden spoon, then form tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and puffed (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste, keep warm. Makes about 35.
- 4Deep-fry polenta, in batches, until just golden and crisp (3-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit), then drain on absorbent paper and season to taste. Serve sgagliozze and popizze hot with pinzimonio and semi-dried tomatoes.
Note Preserved cherry tomatoes are available from Quoco and Simon Johnson. This recipe is from the May 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: 2008 Cantele Telero Bianco. Drink suggestion by Sabino Matera