socca “pizza” topped with lamb, aubergine and feta

socca “pizza” with lamb, aubergine and feta

Pizza is one of the dishes that I know from my friends on a gluten-free diet that they miss the most. So I just use socca, a chickpea flour pancake, as my dough base. I am not entirely sure whether I actually prefer the pancake base. I have to confess that I’ve been eating these a lot recently because firstly I am lazy, secondly I have been quite busy cooking for other people (yay! more of this another time.) and they are both easy to make and utterly delicious.

Because this dish is nothing if not inauthentic, taking its influences from both the northern and eastern Mediterranean, I decided to top my “pizza” base with the sort of thing that you’d have on a Turkish “pide” – a sort of pizza pita bread. What I actually had was some leftover Middle Eastern-style lamb stew, but frankly a bit of pasta sauce would work well too!

Makes 2 omelette-sized “pizzas”
Skill level: Easy

socca (chickpea pancakes)
middle eastern-style lamb stew
olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
2 small aubergines, cubed
250g lamb mince
2 tsp ground cumin
half tsp ground cinnamon
half tsp ground allspice
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp tomato puree
100ml water or stock (more if necessary)
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
chopped coriander, to serve (optional)
feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry onion for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the mince and fry until beginning to colour.
  3. Add the aubergine and combine well in the oily mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the ground spices and stir well until combined.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir well and add water or stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes. (Add more liquid to prevent the stew from drying out.)
  6. If using the stew as a topping for socca, turn up the heat to reduce the liquid.
  7. Cook socca (see previous recipe) for 12 minutes.
  8. Top with a little of the lamb stew. Sprinkle over crumbled feta cheese and chopped coriander. Bake in the oven for a further 4 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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