Basic Recipe: Soft Polenta with Parmesan
I hear the temperatures have dropped in Canada so I thought I’d post a recipe for a nice warm, soft polenta to warm you up.
Polenta is cooked cornmeal and not exclusive to Italian cooking, as anyone who has had grits or mamaliga (Romanian cornmeal porridge) or corn pudding knows.
The simplest way to make polenta is to cook it with water or stock until the grains are soft and plump and this takes a while (30-45 minutes) so don’t rush it. You need to stir the polenta often as it cooks over low heat so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. When it is fully cooked stir in butter and cheese and serve with additional grated cheese.
Polenta can be a starch component for the meal, a base for other foods piled on top or it could be served as a first course. Soft the polenta must be served as soon as it is cooked. If you leave it sitting around it will firm up very quickly.
1 cup cornmeal
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan.
Additional Parmesan for serving and garnishing
Bring the water to a boil, add the salt and then add the cornmeal by a slow and steady drizzle, mixing constantly. Reduce heat to very low, cover and continue cooking about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until polenta is cooked through. The polenta is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pot.
Remove from heat, add butter and mix well. Add cheese and mix into the polenta until melted.
Serve immediately as is, with additional grated Parmesan on the side.