Gluten free polenta pizza

My mom is in town (yeah!!!!!!) and she is the polenta expert. She knows how to perfectly cook it and she also really likes it. I decided to let her prepare the polenta (she’s the best!!) and I played around the traditional recipe to prepare something fun and inviting for the kids: mini polenta pizzas!!!

polenta pizza

Some background information about Polenta. Polenta is a traditional Northern Italian dish, is made with yellow maize flour and it is basically a cooked cornmeal or a corn porridge. Like pasta there are tons of recipes with polenta, from the traditional polenta with beef stew, where basically the polenta acts like a side rice or bread for the stew, to more creative recipes like the one I would like to share with you today.

Polenta is naturally gluten free as it comes from corn that doesn’t contain gluten.

Also, it has a very creamy texture (something that kids really like), thanks to the gelatinization of the grain starch.

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That’s all you will need to prepare 20 mini polenta pizzas:

polenta pizza ingred

That’s how to proceed:

First thing to do is to prepare the polenta. Yes, you can always buy the polenta already made at the grocery store, the one that comes in a small yellow cylindric shape (I think it’s called polenta tube…) but…it’s not the same taste as an homemade polenta and my mom will never, never let me buy the already made polenta 😉

– Fill a medium size saucepan with 4 cups of water. I deeply suggest to use a standard iron saucepan, NOT a “non stick” one. It will be much much easier to clean. Add salt and bring it to a boil. When the water starts bubbling, slowly add the polenta flour (yellow maize flour) and mix it with a whisk in order to obtain a smooth consistency.

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– Reduce the heat to minimum, so that the polenta will just simmer and cover with a lid. Let the polenta slow cook for 40 minutes.

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– Once every five minutes stir the polenta. If the polenta will stick to the bottom of the saucepan, it’s fine. Do not worry, it happens. You will be able to perfectly clean your saucepan later.

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– The polenta will be ready when it will reach a thick creamy consistency. That’s what we need for this recipe. Transfer the polenta in a oblong glass pyrex baking dish and level the polenta with a tablespoon in order to obtain one thick layer (1 inch).

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– Let the polenta cool down and get firm for 30 minutes. If you are in a hurry you can place the dish in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. When the polenta is firm and cold you can remove it from the dish just flipping it over on a flat surface.

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– Using a round cookie cutter start cutting out small circles of polenta and place them one next to the other on a parchment paper on a baking sheet.

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– Do not throw away the polenta leftovers. They can be molded as play dough in the cookie cutters and form other circles…nothing will be wasted!!

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– Spread one teaspoon of tomato paste (a good quality one) on top of each polenta circle

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– Add one or two cubes of mozzarella. Sprinkle with some fresh or dry oregano and a tiny pinch of salt. Drizzle some extra virgin oil of olive on top of the small pizzas. Bake them in the preheated oven at 400F/200C for 15 minutes. Add 5 minutes in broil mode in order to let the mozzarella get golden.

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Enjoy warm!!!

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gluten free polenta pizza quadro

gluten free polenta pizza

 

polenta pizza

6 Comments

Did you make this recipe? Share the love, tag @buonapappa on Instagram and hashtag it #buonapappa I would love to see your creations!

  • Reply
    Bruno
    April 9, 2015 at 12:50 am

    should have know the difference btw masa flour and maize corn….i was wondering why the flour is not turning into polenta…

    • Reply
      Barbara Lamperti
      April 9, 2015 at 3:49 am

      😉
      well, I have to say this time I’m even more happy I could be somehow helpful 🙂
      ciao,b

      • Reply
        Bruno
        April 13, 2015 at 2:44 am

        i bought the cornmeal which is polenta in USA market…unfortunately after cooking for 1 hour the cornmeal is still too runny and on the video ur one is showing dry…

        are you sure we are suppose to use 4 cups of water?

        what brand of cornmeal are u using?

        • Reply
          Barbara Lamperti
          May 19, 2015 at 11:05 pm

          Hi Bruno! I used a polenta that I bought in Italy “LA BOTTEGA AGRICOLA” brand. I checked the box. I bought few of them 😉 and it suggests 2 liters of water for every 500gr. polenta flour. That’s the same proportions I used in my recipe (1 liter water/250 gr. polenta) Cooking time: from 40 to 60 minutes, pending the consistency you would like to obtain.
          It is true that every brand might absorb water in a different way. I suggest you to start with only 2 cups of water and slowly add water while cooking to reach the thick creamy consistency you see in the video. The polenta (no matter which brand) should not cook less than 40 minutes. In this way you will find the right amount of water needed by your brand of polenta. I hope it helps! thank you for watching BuonaPappa!! barbara

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