The ambition of pinsa is to be the star of the meal, and so it is normal to wonder about the best pairings, especially when cooking for other people: is it better to have a vegetarian version or one with cold cuts? Is a creative and daring option preferable, or do we stick to tradition?
We make it, and we are proud of the role it has gained in homes, clubs and, of course, in pizzerias and pinserie. But neither can we forget that pinsa is also an excellent alternative to bread as accompaniment to other foods, even better if it is enriched with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt. In other words, it can either be the star of the evening or a discreet but still tasty co-star. In the latter case, you don’t need to puzzle over the question of toppings.
Presenting a pinsa bianca certainly works in its own way, because in Italy we are used to accompanying most main courses and side dishes with bread, and sometimes we replace bread with focaccia as a refined alternative. Why not do the same with pinsa then?
Pinsa Vs Focaccia: same role, but some important differences
If pinsa accompanies other dishes, the comparison with pizza can no longer be made. In this case, the comparison (or the competition) is between pinsa and focaccia, which have many features in common.
Focaccia is the accompaniment par excellence and is certainly more versatile than pizza: the latter, in fact, rarely has a supporting role in favour of other dishes, preferring to be the absolute protagonist. Focaccia may or may not be like this, depending on the case and taste.
As with pizza, there are hundreds of variants of focaccia, generally all with a local connotation (the best known is the Genoese one). The pinsa, on the other hand, has a very precise localisation (Lazio, Rome) and its distinctive element is the mix of flours that determines its taste, texture, digestibility and very low-calorie intake. These characteristics have determined the success of the pinsa as the star dish of the meal, but they are still relevant when it is considered an accompaniment to other foods. Pinsa thus becomes a light and tasty alternative to both bread and focaccia. Considering that, without claiming to be scientific, the calorie intake of pinsa is about 2/3 of that of a normal pizza, a similar ratio may apply to focaccia.
There’s only one risk: people will like it too much
With pinsa there is only one risk: that its deliciousness immediately turns it into the star of the meal, outshining the other dishes. To prevent this from happening, there are two options: serve it “bianca” or use very light toppings so as not to overshadow the star dish. Among the seasonings that can be used, the first is undoubtedly olive oil, followed by freshly chopped rosemary, dried oregano or fresh basil. A further step forward in terms of taste, but always with caution, is the use of cherry tomatoes or olives, which will give an extra touch of flavour without being too intense. It is better to avoid strong flavours, such as garlic or chilli pepper, and in general it’s better not to season it too much, as in that case it would risk overpowering the dishes it is supposed to accompany; it would not be easy to explain to someone who has spent an entire afternoon in the kitchen.
In short, the only real risk is that people will like pinsa too much. Keep it in mind.