Crispy Polenta Gnocchi

Crispy Polenta Gnocchi

I know I’ve already said it but each time I eat something with polenta, I recall my father saying how his childhood was all about getting kicked in the backside and eating polenta. Continue reading

In the past polenta a very important source of food in honour of this dish I wanted to make something fun for this post so after a little search, I adapted the recipe I found on citronetvanille and adapted it to what I had in mind: crispy polenta gnocchi.

What I really liked about making this recipe is that I found it to be more straight forward, less messy than the traditional potato gnocchi. As with any gnocchi recipe you can accompany this dish with just about any sauce you like. The reason I made a Gorgonzola sauce is because in Ticino, fi you don’t serve polenta with meat, you often eat it with Gorgonzola. It’s up to you to see what you want to serve it with, but I guarantee you that blue cheese is a great combination.




Crispy Polenta Gnocchi


Recipe for 2

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 30 min



For the polenta gnocchi:

80 g quick cooking polenta + extra to coat the gnocchi


90 g flour + extra to flour surface

1 egg

2-3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Slat and pepper

Olive oil

1 knob butter


For the sauce:

100 g Gorgonzola

0.7 dl milk

1 small tsp. corn-starch




Bring to a boil the equivalent of 3 ½ times the amount of polenta in a mix of water and milk. Season with salt. Reduce fire to low and stream in the polenta and instead of stirring fold the mass over itself until it will have thickened and it comes away from the sides of the pan (5-7 min). Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese and fold the mass to combine it. Transfer the polenta to a bowl and place it in the fridge until it will have set and chilled (about 1 hour).

Take the chilled polenta and scrape it with a fork to crumble it. Add the flour and some salt and mix the ingredients together. Now add the egg and mix until the mass looks even. Dust with flour your working surface, move the gnocchi mass onto the surface and divide into 2-3 parts. Take each part and roll it into about 3 cm thick strips. Take a fork and start making the gnocchi by sectioning them every 2 cm.

Bring a large pan filled with salted water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Once they come to the surface, it means they are cooked so remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a cutting board or a bowl with a wide bottom. Dust them with the uncooked polenta until evenly coated.

For the sauce: Pour a fraction of the milk into a cup, add the corn-starch and mix until all lumps will have disappeared. Pour the milk/corn-starch with the milk and the Gorgonzola into a pan and place it over a low heat. Cook the ingredients for 8-10 min, once the ingredients are combined and the sauce has thickened set it aside and reheat it just before serving.

In a non-stick pan, heat 1-1.5 tbsp. olive oil on a medium-high fire. Add the gnocchi and brown them on all sides, occasionally stirring. Once ready, serve them with the Gorgonzola sauce.

Soft Polenta Cookies

Soft Polenta CookiesI hope everyone had a nice Easter. Like in many of these occasions, mine was filled with good food. Continue reading

On Sunday we had the traditional baby goat at my fiancé’s parent’s home. On Monday we had lunch at his aunt’s place. This is the time of the year where tourists come back and frankly it’s nice to see the streets repopulated with people enjoying the mild weather. On Saturday I had no appointments so I left home early to do my groceries as to avoid the crowd. With some time on my hands, I baked these soft polenta cookies, which turned out to not only be a treat but also a practical breakfast the following day. These easy to make cookies are soft and at the same time they have a light crunch given by the polenta flour. This recipe has a nice texture combination and the lemon brings extra freshness to the overall taste.

Soft Polenta Cookies


Soft Polenta Cookies

Recipe for about 16 units

Prep time: 15 min (+ 1 hour resting time)

Cook time: 20 min



80 g soft butter

80 g sugar

1 egg

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

140 g fine grain polenta flour

120 g flour

1.5 tsp. raising powder

A pinch of salt

Icing sugar



Cream butter an sugar together for about 4-5 min.

Mix in the egg then add the lemon juice and zest.

In another bowl combine the polenta flour, flour, rising powder and salt.

Add little by little the dry ingredients to the wet one until you get an even mass.

Let the dough rest for an hour.

Make little balls of about 3 cm and place them on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Once you have placed them slightly flatten them with the palm of your hand. Remember to leave some space between each unit.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C.

Once done, place the soft polenta cookies on a rack to cool and dust them with icing sugar as a final touch.


Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken

Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken Relaxed food without the need of cutlery is sociable and fun. This is exactly what I did with on my weekly lunch with my mother. With the wedding coming up and two families colliding, there’s much to talk about and a nice meal does help reducing the stress. I found some great looking organic chicken thighs. Continue reading

Like mother like daughter…. Both of us love crispy food so a nice crust made with polenta, was a great match. Using the ingredients I had at hand, I adapted my version from the recipe I found on the

Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken


Crispy Oven Polenta Chicken


Recipe for 8 pieces (1-2 pieces p.p)

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 45-55 min



8 chicken thighs

Juice of 1 lemon

6 tbsp. fine grain polenta flour

3 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 dl milk

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil



Start by drizzling the lemon juice over the chicken. Leave for 15-30 minutes to marinate.

Meanwhile heat your oven at 180°C.

In a bowl pour the milk, in another one mix the fine polenta flour, plain flour and the chopped rosemary leaves.

Dry the meat with some kitchen paper then season generously it with salt and pepper.

Dip one chicken thigh first in the milk then evenly coat with the polenta flour mixture.

Heat half of the olive oil in a pan on a medium-high fire and place half of the chicken to brown on both sides for about 4-5 min per side. Once done set aside. Repeat with the second batch.

Line a baking try with aluminium foil and place a rack on top. Place the chicken pieces on top and cook in the lower part of the oven for 35-45 minutes. If juices of the chicken run clear when pierced, you’re ready to take them out. Serve either warm or at room temperature. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.


Grido – A Traditional Recipe

I must have been seven or eight years old when first tried Grido and I can still remember the moment. Continue reading

Growing up, I spent many weekends with my two best childhood friends, in their parent’s house up the mountain, above my village. During one of those getaways there, Flavia their mother, called us back to the house and when I entered I saw everyone standing by the fire, when I approached it, I saw a bowl with some kind of batter inside it and I asked:

“What is it?”

“It’s a Grido.” Flavia replied while handing me one of these things that to me looked like a crêpe/tortilla hybrid.

It only took one bite to become a fan of this treat. A couple of years ago, I fell across this recipe, which my father had written down on one of our old cookbooks. I was excited because I would have always loved to know what went into the batter.

This recipe is something almost exclusive from my valley, the Valle Maggia. If I ask people from the nearby town of Locarno, most don’t know what a Grido is, besides thinking that it’s a way to shout (un grido in Italian mean a shout).

Ideally one should cook the Grido on the fire (like in my childhood), if you have all the appropriate material, I would strongly recommend giving this cooking method a try (maybe on a cold night or around a campfire). Traditionally Grido is served with salted butter melted on top, but this recipe can be treated as if it was a normal crêpe or tortilla: have fun filling it with whatever you like. I like my Grido the traditional way but with a little jam it’s great too.






Recipe for 4 large pieces

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 20 min



180 g flour

60 g fine grain polenta

3 dl water (add more water if you wish to make thinner Grido, I like them a little thick)

½ tsp. salt

Cooking oil to brush the pan (rapeseed oil, sunflower oil…)

To garnish: Salted butter (alternatively use normal butter and add salt)





In a bowl combine the flour, the polenta and the salt.

Start adding the water bit by bit while constantly whisking.

Heat a pan on a medium/high heat and brush it with oil.

Add ¼ of the batter and spread it out on the surface of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the surfaces start to brown.

If you are serving the grido the traditional way, add and spread the salted butter on one side while it’s still in the pan, fold or roll the the grido and serve. Repeat with the other portions.


Baked Polenta with Chicken in a Tomato Sauce

Baked Polenta with Chicken in a Tomato Sauce Polenta is something sentimental to me.

Continue reading

When I was a child in the eighties, when we were expecting guests at home I still see myself jumping between the kitchen where my mother was preparing either a stew or some other meat, and the fireplace where my father would prepare the polenta the way it was made in more remote times. He would stay there for at least an hour, constantly stirring and adding milk and stirring again. In the mean time I would prepare them little love notes, which I would slip on the kitchen counter for my mother or under the milk carton for my father. While I made this recipe I remembered such times and it brought me back to those times. Polenta is a poor man’s food and yet it’s something which can easily be served for a dinner party as it’s so simple and it can be dressed up for so many occasions.


Baked Polenta with Chicken in a Tomato Sauce


Baked Polenta with Chicken in a Tomato Sauce

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 35-40 min



250 g instant polenta

1.2 l stock

480 g chicken tenderloins (alternatively use chicken breast cut into 16 chunks)

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 tbsp. butter

2 heaped tbsp. chopped sage leaves

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 red onion

2 pressed garlic cloves

160 g grated cheese

0.8 dl cream

salt and pepper



Heat oven at 220°C.

Place the stock in a pan and bring to a boil. Once it’s simmering sprinkle in the polenta and cook for 8-10 min while constantly stirring. Towards the end add the cream, stir until combined and remove from heat. Add 120 g of the grated cheese, stir to combine in the polenta and add pepper to taste. Pour the prepared polenta in a greased baking dish.

Pat dry the chicken and season it with salt and pepper. Heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil on high heat in a pan and sear the chicken on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan, reduce fire and add 1-2 tbsp. butter with the onions, garlic and sage and fry for 4-5 min. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 8-10 until slightly reduced. Add back the chicken to the pan, toss and place on top of the polenta.

Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese and bake in the oven for 15 min.

Salad with Double Cheese Polenta Croutons

Salad with Double Cheese Polenta Croutons I admit that this salad is a good excuse for the polenta croutons. A few months ago I was in my tiny kitchen and gave the polenta croutons, I was not too happy with the result but I stored the idea. A few days ago I reconsidered the idea, put it into practice and this time I liked the result much better, especially with a little cheese… Continue reading

This dish went perfectly well with the sunny weather we’ve finally had these past few days. Yes, this summer’s vitamin D development has not been intense, in the whole of Switzerland apparently. With this energy is up high and since my ankle hasn’t really healed yet, instead of going for my usual run it’s great to go for a stroll near the river, under the trees. When I am there I always start thinking about how in the past people seeing such sceneries would imagine and make up fairy-tales. If you want to see what I mean here is the link to the Valle Maggia site, meawhile this are a couple of pictures I took about one month ago during one of my walks.

Maggia River Maggia River


Salad with Double Cheese Polenta Croutons


Salad with Double Cheese Polenta Croutons


Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min (+cooling time)

Cook time: 20 min



100 g fine polenta

5 dl stock

50 g Gruyere cheese

40 g Sbrinz cheese

140 g cherry tomatoes

80 g arugula

3-4 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper



Cook the polenta with the stock according to package instructions, once done add the Gruyère and mix until it has melted. Leave the polenta to cool. I used a small pan and left the polenta solidify in there but if you wish you can set it out on a board; the result is that your crostini will probably be smaller and/or flatter.

Cut the polenta into 2 cm cubes. Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil on a medium fire and add the polenta cubes to brown on all sides for around 12-14 min.

Meanwhile slice the spring onion and prepare the dressing with 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the salad together with the cherry tomatoes, arugula spring onion and dressing; toss.

Once the polenta cubes have coloured remove the pan from the fire, sprinkle the grated Sbrinz on top and quickly toss.

Serve the salad and on top place the polenta croutons.

Polenta Gratin with Bell Peppers

Polenta Gratin with Bell PeppersWhat I love when I travel with my mother, besides her company is that she always has at least two if not more cooking magazines. This time too she didn’t miss out on them. During our return after a humongous chicken mayo sandwich we both made ourselves comfortable in our train seat and began flipping through those pages filled with recipes. Every little while one of us would go:

“Uh, nice. Look at this.”

“I’ve gotta try this one.”

“This looks nice, we could make a spicy version of this one.”

Well, you got the idea. One of the recipes that received a comment was in the magazine Cuisine Actuelle (I think that’s the name) which contained today’s recipe. A few days later, it was on my dining table. The original recipe called for olives but I wanted to make it different so I used bell peppers instead and also, instead of mozzarella I used burrata. The rest of the recipe I kept it the same and the result was a really tasty.


Polenta Gratin with Bell Peppers


Polenta Gratin with Bell Peppers


Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min




3 red bell peppers

2 tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove

3 tbsp olive oil

½ dl white wine


1 garlic clove

200 g fine grain polenta

Stock about 9,5 dl (or check package instructions)

1 burrata

100 g grated Parmesan

1,5 dl crème fraiche

Butter to grease

Salt and pepper





Heat oven at 210°C.

Grease with butter four individual gratin dishes (mine measure 15.5 cm diameter) or use one large one.

Cut the bell peppers into thin strips about 4 cm long. Dice the tomatoes or quarter the cherry tomatoes. Crush the garlic with a garlic crusher.

In a pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add the bell peppers to soften for 4-5 min on a medium fire. Now add the garlic and after a couple of minutes add the tomatoes, season with paprika, salt and pepper and cook for another 4-5 min. Pour in the white wine and let it cook off. Once done set aside.

Bring the stock to a boil with the rest of the olive oil. Sprinkle in the polenta and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes. Once the mass has become more solid and detaches itself from the edges add 2/3 of the Parmesan, the crème fraiche and pepper. Stir well.

Pour half of the polenta in the gratin dish(es), scatter half of the bell peppers and tomatoes, add the rest of the polenta then the rest of the vegetables with the rest of the Parmesan. Cut the burrata into slices and evenly distribute it on top of the rest. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, remove from heat and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.


Polenta Topped Cottage Pie / Hachis Parmentier Recouvert de Polenta

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie Does the cooking method contribute to categorizing a dish as comfort food ? Continue reading

I think that it’s the case at least for the oven. One of my favourite dishes is a cottage pie and usually I make it the traditional way with potatoes but sometimes it’s nice to give it a change and so this time I topped it with polenta. Instead of using only water I prepared the corn mostly with milk which makes the mass creamier. Actually, in Ticino it’s quite common to eat polenta in a bowl filled with milk. This used to be a poor man’s meal. For the meat instead I began with a “mirepoix” which is also the base I use for a bolognese sauce. For the rest I more or less followed Gordon Ramsay’s  shepherd’s pie recipe; especially for cooking times. It was some time I had not made this dish.


Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie


Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 50 min



For the beef :

2 carrots

1 celery stalk

1 onion

3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

650 g minced beef

1 large tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves

0.5 dl red wine

0.5 dl stock

(optional: a small tsp cornstarch to thicken)

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper


For the polenta:

180 g fine polenta

6 dl milk

3 dl water

(optional: 1-2 knobs butter)

120 g grated cheese

Salt and pepper



Heat oven at 200°C.

Finely dice the carrots, celery and onion. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher. In a pan with one tbsp olive oil, add the carrots, celery and onion to soften for 5 min.

In another pan  (or use the same  and set the vegetables aside) heat the rest of the olive oil and add the minced meat. Cook until the meat is browned. Once done remove excess liquid and fat ( I used a sieve). Place the meat back in the pan with the rosemary and thyme. Add the tomato puree, the vegetables and finally pour over the wine. Reduce by half. Now add the Worcestershire sauce and the stock. Cook for about 20-25 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the polenta bring the water and milk to a boil. Sprinkle in the polenta and cook for ten minutes on a low fire and constantly stirring. When done add in the butter  and 90 out of the 120 grams of cheese with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the meat to a baking dish ( I used individual ones), top with the polenta evenly spread and finally sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20-25 min, until the top is nicely browned.



Version Française

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

La méthode de cuisson contribue-t- elle à rendre un plat réconfortant ? Je pense que c’est le cas, du moins pour le four. Un de mes plats préférés c’est le hachis Parmentier et d’habitude je le fait de la manière traditionnelle avec des pommes de terre mais de temps en temps j’aime bien changer. Cette fois je l’ai fait en utilisant de la polenta. Au lieu d’utiliser que de l’eau ou du bouillon j’ai préparé la farine de mais avec une majorité de lait. En effet, ici au Tessin c’est une chose commune de manger la polenta servie dans un bol rempli de lait. Ce plat était un des repas de l’homme pauvre. Pour la viande j’ai commencé avec un mirepoix (la base que j’utilise aussi quand je prépare une bolognaise). Pour la suite j’ai plus ou moins suivi une recette de Gordon Ramsay ; surtout pour les temps de cuisson car ça faisait un moment que je n’avais pas fait de hachis Parmentier.

Polenta Topped Cottage Pie

Hachis Parmentier Recouvert de Polenta


Recette pour 4

Temps de préparation: 20 min

Temps de cuisson: 50 min



Pour la viande:

2 carottes

1 branche de céleri

1 oignon

3 cs huile d’olive

2 gousses d’ail

650 g viande hachée de bœuf

1 grosse cs purée de tomates

1 cs de feuilles de thym

1 cs feuilles de romarin coupées finement

0.5 dl vin rouge

(optionnel: une petite cc de maizena pour épaissir)

0.5 dl bouillon

Un soupçon de sauce Worcestershire

Sel et poivre


Pour la polenta :

180 g polenta fine

6 dl lait

3 dl eau

(optionnel: 1-2 noix de beurre)

120 g fromage râpé

Sel et poivre



Allumez le four à 200°C.

Coupez finement les carottes, la branche se céleri et l’oignon. Passez les gousses d’ail dans un presse ail. Dans une poêle avec une cs d’huile d’olive, ajoutez les carottes le céleri et l’oignon et faites cuire pendant environ 7 min.

Dans une autre poêle (ou utilisez la même et mettez les légumes de coté) ajoutez le reste de l’huile d’olive et la viande. Cuire la viande jusqu’à quelle soit brune. Enlever l’excès de gras et liquide (j’ai utilisé une passoire). Replacer la viande dans la poêle avec le romarin et le thym. Ajouter la purée de tomate, les légumes et verser le vin. Laissez réduire de moitié environ. Maintenant ajoutez la Worcestershire sauce et le bouillon (éventuellement ajouter la maizena). Poursuivre la cuisson pendant 20-25 min. Assaisonner selon le gout.

Pour la polenta, porter l’eau et le lait à ébullition. Ajouter en pluie la polenta et faire cuire 10 min sur un feu bas en remuant constamment. À la fin ajouter le beurre, 90 des 120 g de fromage et assaisonner avec du sel et du poivre selon le goût.

Transférer la viande dans un plat à four (dans mon cas j’ai utilisé des plats individuels) étalez la polenta de manière régulière et parsemez le reste du fromage par-dessus. Placez dans le four pendant 20-25 min, jusqu’à que le haut soit bien doré.

Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread

Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread Cornbread is something I like to serve when I have friends coming over for an aperitif. Continue reading

This time the context was more private; my boyfriend and I enjoyed this cornbread with a great Spanish red wine. The whole moment was very comforting because we were standing next to the fireplace with all those goodies and outside it was raining; we could hear the raindrops falling on the roof. This is the kind of recipe I like to decline according to my taste on the moment. I found a basic recipe for cornbread on the French site cuisineaz . Apart from the taste, I like the ratio of this recipe because I find it easy to remember and it’s also ready in a short time. In my version of the recipe I replaced a little of the milk with cream and I added some goat cheese and herbs. I went for the goat cheese, rosemary and thyme combination because the other day, while I was doing my groceries I saw a fresh goat cheese which had the two herbs in it and I liked the idea of these ingredients together.


Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread


Goat Cheese Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread


Recipe for a 18 cm cake pan with high sides.

Prep time : 10 min

Cook time : 30-35 min


Ingredients :

115 g fine polenta flour

115 g flour

1.3 dl milk

4 tbsp cream

1 bag (7 g) dry yeast

20 g cooled melted butter

70 g hard goat cheese

1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary

1 tbsp thyme leaves

½  tsp salt

1 egg


2 tsp sugar




Heat oven at 150° C.

Grate the cheese.

In a bowl mix flour, polenta, yeast sugar and salt and pepper. In another bowl wish the egg with a fork, add the milk and the melted butter and lightly mix and add to the flour. Blend all the ingredients together.

Now include the rosemary, the thyme and the cheese.  Blend again.

Grease the cake tin with the oil and add the preparation. Place in the oven for 30-35 min. If you want, you can save a little of the goat cheese and sprinkle it over the bread about 10 min before it’s ready (that’s what I did). Check if it’s ready by inserting a toothpick, if it come out dry, the bread is ready. Remove from mould and leave to cool before serving.

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad 3When I looked at this dish yesterday I felt I succeeded in my quest for the day: add colour around me. I love snow and like yesterday, I love going for a walk around my village. I don’t regret a moment although I admit  I didn’t dare going with my scooter.

Continue reading

I said I love snow but these past 2-3 weeks I have only seen the sun for two days and when it’s like this, I feel drained and join the weather complaining crowd. I was some time since I had made polenta and as St. Valentine is approaching I thought the colour works well for the occasion. I had fun trying this recipe and I liked the flavor combination between the salad and the polenta with the beetroot. The only thing I would say is that next time I might change the shape because like this they remind me of hamburgers.

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad 4

Pink Polenta Slices with Lamb’s Lettuce and Goat Cheese Salad


Recipe for 2

Prep time: 8-10 min

Cook time: 15-20 min




80 g cooked beetroots

1 dl milk

2dl stock

120g fine grain polenta

1 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp chopped walnuts (dry roast them for a  more intense taste)

3 tbsp dried cranberries

50 g brie made with goat cheese ( or another goat milk based but creamy cheese)



Cut the beetroot into chunks and put it in a mixer with the milk. Whiz until smooth and pour into a pan with the stock. Bring to a boil and sprinkle in the polenta. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon on a low fire for 7-9 min. Add water if needed and season with salt to taste.

Remove the polenta from the fire, add the butter and mix it in. Pour the mass on a cutting board lined with oven paper. Take another piece of oven paper and place it on the polenta. With another cutting board, press down until the mass is about 2 cm thick. Set aside and leave to cool.

Once it has cooled down cut into the shape you prefer; I made rounds squares are just as fine ( you will actually waste less polenta this way).

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on a medium heat and add the slices to brown, about 3-4 min per side.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing with the olive oil and the vinegar. Cut the cheese into about 1 cm cubes and add them to the salad with the walnuts and the dried cranberries. Add the dressing to the salad, toss and add the rest. Serve with polenta slices.