Genius Gluten Free Polenta Pizza

July 16, 2012 5:13 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Polenta Pizza
How to turn polenta into pizza. (Photo: Creative Commons)

When I was staving off gluten, nothing was harder for me to give up than a Friday night pizza pie with my friends. It's not like the tradition suddenly stopped-- they kept getting that perfect New York pie weekend-after-weekend without fail-- it's just that I always had to abstain, eating something more anemic in comparison. There are places in the city that offer wonderful takes on gluten-free pizza (Risotteria in Greenwich Village comes to mind in a big way), but they're often out-of-the-way and much too expensive.

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What, then, is a hungry little party monster to do?

The answer: make your own pizza. That may sound incredibly difficult, seeing as making a gluten-filled pizza is already quite difficult-- a feat best left to the professionals who flip pie after pie through the air as though it were nothing. Look out, everyone: FoodNRecipe's coming to the rescue.

Here's a gluten-free pizza pie recipe that's not only every bit as delicious as the typical pizza pie, it's much easier to make. We're going to be using polenta for the crust.

So preheat that oven to 450 degrees (sorry if you're reading this somewhere where there's no AC), brush your pizza pan or cookie sheet with some olive oil, and get cooking!

1. Make that perfect polenta crust.

Start by picking out a cup of good quality, coarse cornmeal. Any brand will do as long as it's higher end.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1/2 cup of milk with 2 and 1/2 cups of water and a very large pinch of salt. Bring that to just about a boil, reduce the heat to medium heat, then add the cornmeal while whisking the water with a fork, to prevent lumps from screwing up the dough. Turn the heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes, constantly whisking. If it gets too thick, add in a little more water. Congratulations, you've made perfect polenta! Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and stir. Taste. How delicious is that?

2. Now very quickly shape it!

This part is a race against time, as the longer you wait, the drier and more stiff your polenta will get. You're going to want to spread the polenta across the pizza pan or cookie sheet so that it's about a half-an-inch thick. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper, a little garlic powder and a little onion powder, and cover it with plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge for an hour, or until it's nice and firm.

3. Bake.

Put polenta in the oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Take it out. Now add whatever toppings and cheese you want, and cook for another few minutes or so until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.


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