Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins

Found this via the net and posted in response to a request.


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium pan. Add salt reduce heat to medium low. As soon as the water begins to simmer, start pouring in the cornmeal in a thin stream, very slowly while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. Once all the cornmeal has been added, keep the water at a simmer, and stir frequently. should take between 25-30 minutes to fully cook Once it is cooked, it should pull away from the sides of the pot easily.
  2. Variations:.
  3. Soft Polenta: Use polenta directly out of the pot, topped with sauce or vegetables as desired. scoop a good portion on a plate, let it sit for a minute or two. Next top the polenta with a scoop of your favorite sauce. add grated Parmesan cheese to the polenta and sauce.
  4. Firm Polenta: After it is completely cooked, place on wooden board or a greased baking sheet 2 inches thick and allow to set. Cut into squares.
  5. Baked Polenta: Cut firm polenta into slices, place in a buttered baking dish. Add favorite topping, bake at 375°F till golden.
  6. Grilled Polenta: Cut firm polenta into squares, brush with oil and grill lightly on both sides.
  7. Fried Polenta: Cut the firm polenta into slices and fry in a few inches of hot oil till golden brown and crispy.
Most Helpful

Pretty good, but 2 TBLS salt is WAY too much. We could barely eat it. I'd go w/just 1 TBL to start; you can always add more later.

natanamoon July 03, 2009

After parsing all the polenta recipes in the Zaar, I think this one is the closest to my ideal -- the real thing. I'm an old-fashioned polentum, and the idea of "creamy polenta" sets my teeth on edge. This recipe is very well written. Just a couple of thoughts -- I use less water, about 3 1/4 cups per cup of polenta, and less salt, about 1/2 tablespoon per cup of polenta. The trickiest part of cooking polenta is avoiding the formation of lumps: stay away from instant polenta, heat the water so that the surface is barely shivering when you pour it in, and stir rapidly when pouring it in. Once you try it, you'll understand what "pull away from the sides of the pot" means. That is an accurate description. I usually halve the recipe for the 2 of us, and the polenta cooks up in about 20 minutes. I use a stainless steel pot (my Grandma used a huge copper kettle on a wood-burning stove); after cooking and pouring out, the film in the pot will come off easily once soaked in cold water. For a nice presentation lightly oil a loaf pan and pour the polenta into it immediately after cooking and cover with foil. It will stay warm for a long time, firm up, and then can be unmolded on a serving platter. Grazie, Shirl.

MariaLuisa April 22, 2008