Jason’s Nana is incredibly talented in the kitchen. I haven’t had a single meal there that I didn’t enjoy, even as a vegetarian in a household of meat-lovers! We’ve spent many holidays at their house, and when the pizzagaina is brought out it gets devoured in no time. All while his grandparents reminisce about who’s father or mother made it better.
When I was thinking about us spending our first holiday away from family, I wanted to see if I could create something that felt like home. The result is spectacular. I adore this recipe and hope to share it with Jason’s grandparents one day.
Pizzagaina with Cornbread Crust
1 cup gluten free cornbread mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
14 large eggs
1/2 lb pepperoni
1/2 lb salami
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
1/2 pound provolone cheese
1 12-ounce container of ricotta cheese
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap the bottom in tinfoil (to make sure eggs don’t sneak out any gaps).
2. To make the crust, combine dry ingredients into a food processor. Add chunks of butter and pulse until it starts to come together. It should start to look wet, at that point, add the egg. Pulse until a ball has formed.
3. Remove from food processor, form a disk, and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator to cool for at least 20 minutes.
4. Evenly spread the dough over the bottom of the springform pan. Firmly press down.
5. Cut meat and cheeses into bite size pieces.
6. Layer half of the sausage, pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, provolone on top of each other and top with ricotta. (I only put meat on half for Jason and the other half simply cheese for me).
6. Pour half of the beaten eggs on top. Repeat the layering process with the remaining meat and cheese. Pour in the remaining egg. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan.
7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and the eggs are firm (if you shake the pan, there’s no jiggling in the center).