4 cups stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet and for frying
1/2 pound chickpea (garbanzo) flour
Pour 4 cups stock, the salt, and the olive oil into the saucepan, and gradually whisk in the chickpea flour until smooth. Set over medium heat, and whisk constantly as the batter slowly heats. It will thicken and eventually steam but does not need to boil. Cook and keep whisking, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan frequently, until the mixture is quite stiff and starts to pull away from the sides as you stir it, 15 to 20 minutes.
Turn the batter into the oiled pan, and spread it quickly with the spatula, before it cools and sets, so it fills the pan in an even layer. Wet the spatula with water, and smooth the top of the batter. Let cool for an hour or longer, until completely firm.
When firm, cut into appropriate size pieces and fry in olive oil or butter until golden brown on one side. Turn and brown on second size and serve. Depending on the size the fried polenta, called “panelle”, can be used as a starch accompaniment, as a sandwich filling, or as a lunch or appetizer topped with a protein and sauce.