Recipe: Polenta

Polenta takes time and attention to cook, particularly if you prefer it un-scorched and un-lumpy. Be sure to use a heavy pot, and low heat, and stir quite a bit, scraping the bottom of the pot. For week-night dinners, I have to recommend ready-made polenta in a shelf-stable tube, available in our fresh pasta case. Slice and bake or fry, then top with a good tomato sauce. If you’d like to make it from scratch, you can serve it straight out of the pot with the same type of sauce.

Serves 2 generously.


3-1/2 cups cold water
1 cup polenta
1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)


Stir the cold water and polenta together in a heavy pot. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for about 30 minutes. Polenta is done when it is very thick and no longer feels hard and gritty to your tongue. You may need to add up to a cup more of water during the cooking time if the polenta gets too thick before it reaches the right texture. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese; serve at once.