- Difficulty: Average
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 60 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Very low
An Italian abroad will miss pasta and coffee; a native of Lombardy will miss polenta. There are few dishes with such a strong identity and affective value, not just for the northern regions, but for people of the mountains from all over Italy. Polenta is a peasant yet delicious and substantial dish that has prevented hunger over the centuries with great dignity. Polenta, as in pulse or grain flour cooked in water, has very ancient origins, but it only became what it is today after the discovery of America, as corn, which gives it that sunny yellow color, came from the new continent. Polenta became a staple food, for the popular classes in particular, bringing to life a veritable "civilization of polenta". There are countless versions of this traditional dish: taragna, corn, buckwheat and Veneto style, the latter a white polenta. Polenta used to be cooked in a copper pan over the fire. Here we present you with a more modern version, so that you can still prepare an excellent polenta for serving with succulent meat stews, delicious sauteed mushrooms or creamy cheeses, to create nourishing and appetizing dishes like polenta with sausage and cheese or tasty dishes you can make using leftovers, like polenta and boiled salami timbale,?and even stylish gourmet temptations!
How to prepare Polenta
To make polenta, heat a thick-bottomed steel saucepan, add 8.33 oz of water 1; just before the water boils, add the salt 2 and then sprinkle in the flour, rapidly stirring all the while with a wooden spoon 3 (or using a special hazelnut wood stick called a tarello), at a high temperature.
Now add the olive oil, which will prevent lumps from forming 4; continue stirring 5 and bring back to the boil before lowering the flame to a minimum. Cook for another 50 minutes on a low flame, stirring all the while and making sure it does not stick to the bottom. Once the 50 minutes are up the polenta is ready; set the flame to high so that it comes away from the sides of the pan 6, wait to see it detach from the bottom.
Now carefully flip the saucepan over onto a round cutting board, slightly bigger in diameter than the saucepan, to remove the polenta (7-8). Your polenta is ready to bring to the table 9!
Polenta can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for no longer than 3-4 days. You can cut it into slices and heat it on a boiling hot grill until firm and crisp, so that you can use it to prepare delicious polenta slices.Or you could add cheese and mozzarella and heat in the oven to create a savory cake!
To make real polenta you'll need genuine ingredients as well as some essential equipment: a copper pan and a typical wooden spoon. Cotton sewing thread is essential for cutting it: hold the string firmly between your fingers for making clean-cut, precise and neat portions. Serve polenta with whatever you like, meat, vegetables, fish, the important thing is that there is abundant creamy sauce you can dip your polenta in. It will taste wonderful!