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Herbed Ricotta Polenta

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

Creamy-sweet ricotta and tender summer herbs give this polenta a sunny flavor profile, making it an excellent match for a simple roast chicken or seared steaks.


  • 11 oz. (2 cups) polenta (not instant or quick-cooking)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth or water; more as needed
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. loosely packed fresh marjoram
  • 2 oz. (2 cups) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1-1/2  oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 270
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 90
  • Fat (g): 10
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 450
  • Carbohydrates (g): 35
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 10


Soak the Polenta

  • Put the polenta in a 4-quart heavy-duty saucepan and whisk in the boiling water. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 8 and up to 12 hours.

Cook the polenta

  • In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Whisk the broth and 1 tsp. salt into the polenta, loosening it and breaking up any clumps. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking once or twice, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to maintain a simmer and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the polenta thickens from soupy to porridge-like, about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook, stirring vigorously and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula every couple of minutes. When you can see the bottom of the pan as you drag the spoon across it, 5 to 10 minutes later, begin tasting the polenta; it’s done when it’s thick, creamy, and tender. It should be granular, but not gritty.
  • While the polenta cooks, pulse the basil, parsley, and marjoram in a food processor until finely chopped, about seven 1-second pulses; don’t overprocess into a paste.
  • Remove the polenta from the heat, and stir in the cheeses, butter, chopped herbs, and 1/2 tsp. pepper until the butter is melted. Season to taste and serve right away, passing more Parmigiano at the table.

Make Ahead Tips

After soaking the polenta at room temperature, you can refrigerate it, covered, for up to 2 days.


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