Servings: 4-6 as a side dish
We tested this recipe with Quaker brand cornmeal; coarser cornmeal will need a slightly longer cooking time. Try topping the polenta with ratatouille, beef stew, or a chicken fricassée.
Mascarpone & Parmigiano Polenta: Omit butter, and gently whisk in 1/2 cup mascarpone in its place. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Thin the polenta with up to 1/2 cup water, if you like; add salt to taste. Scoop the polenta into a serving bowl, sprinkle with another 1 Tbs. of Parmigiano, and serve.
Polenta Rosa: Put 1 cup canned diced tomatoes in a fine sieve, set it over a bowl, and shake it to drain as much liquid as possible. Put the tomato liquid in a measuring cup; add water to get 4 cups total liquid. Pour the liquid into a heavy stainless-steel 3-quart saucepan, and proceed with the basic recipe, omitting the butter. When the polenta is thick and creamy, set it over low heat, and whisk in 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced. Add 1/4 cup tomato paste (preferably Italian) and the canned diced tomatoes. Add 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano, and salt to taste.
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I made the version with the marscapone and Parmesan and it was delicious. I failed to salt the polenta at the very end but we salted. It individually and it was perfect. I did have to add quite a bit more water during the cooking process because it stuck to the bottom and didn’t get creamy as quickly as I thought it would. I will definately make again.
I cooked the cornmeal (Pheasant brand polenta) in half water and half whole milk. (Keep an eye on it at the boil point, or it will boil over.) I thinned during the cooking process with some cream and some milk. After cooking, I added some minced basil I had frozen in olive oil, some fresh minced rosemary and grated Parmesan. Delicious! My husband, who doesn't care for polenta, even liked it.
Very easy to make. not as rich as polenta made with cream. Use the Mascarpone & Parmigiano or Rosa variations for a stand alone side. Basic is best served with dishes that have sauces or gravies.
Looks like a good recipe, albeit with two typos (maintain spelled wrong in second paragraph and bubble spelled as "bibble.") Copy editor missed this article!
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