Soft Polenta

It’s 90 degrees and 110% humidity and I’m standing over a hot stove whisking polenta. It takes only minutes to make, tastes wonderful, and is totally comforting. Plus, you can accompany it with so many things. Tonight it’s sausage and peppers. Luigi Vitelli crushed tomatoes are my new favorite; I discovered them at Ocean State Job Lot where I also purchased the Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal (medium grind).

Anyway, the polenta disappeared from the kitchen around the same time as the kids did. Guess who was stuck with the dishes?

4 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbsp. butter

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking madly so lumps don’t form. Once the cornmeal mixture is smooth, you can whisk occasionally as it simmers (watch out for molten cornmeal bubbles). After about 20 minutes, taste for doneness. It should be smooth, not crunchy at all. Whisk in the cheese and butter. Turn off the heat and cover the pot till you’re ready to serve. The polenta should have a porridge-like consistency and will firm up somewhat as it cools. Serves 4-ish.

Leftover suggestion: Reheat for breakfast with a poached egg on top. A little extra grated cheese over the egg would not be out of line.


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