This week's Cooking With Stanley has comfort food written all over it. From classic breadsticks to stuffed pizza and polenta, you basically have my childhood in a post. Whether you want to make each of these separate or all-together, they're all super delicious and you'll be wanting seconds before you know it.
Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms served on Polenta
Where to begin. Let me start by saying the Stuffed Pizza and Breadsticks take an entire Sunday afternoon to make. This food may look amazing but it's not for the lack of time and effort put it, that's for sure. The Stuffed Pizza dough needs to rise for two hours, then bake for another hour and set for thirty minutes. The breadsticks are a little less time consuming with only needing to rise for an hour and bake for about 15-20 minutes. On the bright side, you have lots of time in between labor intensive work to clean things up and do some other stuff but the labor and the time is exhausting.
I love that the Breadsticks have a hint of rosemary in them. It gives them a nice additional flavor that you really can't beat. The Stuffed Pizza is probably different than what you're thinking of. Instead of tomato sauce, cheese and your choice of toppings, Stanley's Stuffed Pizza recipe uses ricotta cheese, pecorino romano cheese, cubed mozzarella cheese and diced ham. Not the typical pizza most people are used to, including my family. Everyone was expecting the red sauce, cheese and sausage. Surprise! Regardless of expectations, everyone loved this pizza. Even the pickiest of eaters had seconds. Also, this pizza can feed an army. It's so thick and practically doubles in size when baked. We only used half of the pizza for 6 people and a few of them had seconds. It's going to be dinner tonight for leftovers.
The Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms served on Polenta has been one of my personal favorites from this cookbook. Polenta has been one of my favorite foods since I can remember. The first time I remember eating Polenta was when my Noni made it for her mother, my Grandma Yolie, when I was really little. She made it simple with just a little bit of marinara and parmesan. It was love at first bite. Now I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner sometimes the same way as I grew up with, others with whatever I have in the fridge to experiment with. The Tomato Sauce with Mushrooms was light and packed with flavor. It's super easy and affordable to make as well so if you're on a tight budget and looking for something comforting yet nutritious to eat, this is a great recipe. The polenta looks a little dark because I used veggie stock to make it for extra flavor instead of water.
Now that the weather is starting to get cooler more often, comfort foods are becoming much more popular. I don't know about you but nothing beats a cool fall day and a comforting bowl of your childhood favorite meal. What's your favorite comfort food?