Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 35 mins

This is a lesson in how to cook polenta that I have copied from Chef Stefano De Pieri.


  1. Gradually add the polenta to the lightly salted, hot water by allowing it to fall from your hand from above the pot like sand through your fingers.
  2. If the water is not boiling, you will be able to stir in all the polenta without lumps forming.
  3. As the temperature rises, the flour will integrate with the water and thicken.
  4. Stir all the time, and if you have used too much of the flour and the mixture is too thick, add a little water.
  5. I taste for salt and perhaps add a little parmesan cheese.
  6. When the polenta is smooth and does not taste of raw maize, it is ready.
  7. You can use this sloppy polenta with anything that has been braising for a while.
  8. Alternatively, pour the polenta into a flat baking dish where it will cool and become firm.
  9. At that point, it can be grilled or oven baked for 20 minutes.
  10. As a grilled slice, polenta can be used as a base for eggplant slices, goats cheese, rocket, prosciutto and so on.
  11. For me, grilled polenta is good with either baked or fried fish and lumps of parmesan cheese.
  12. Baked polenta can be dressed with cheese, roasted capsicum and fine pancetta.
  13. After you have poured the polenta into a tray, some will remain stuck to the sides of the pot.
  14. Let it dry even for a day, and peel these skins off.
  15. They are delicious with parmesan cheese.


Most Helpful

Not a recipe for a beginner. With no indication of what heat to use, how thick is too thick, or any other such details I had to give up with a sore shoulder after an hour of stirring a paste so thick I could stand my wire whisk with the long, heavy handle in it. I glopped it out into the pan I had ready for molding and stuck it into a slow oven to try to bake the raw taste out of it.

3KillerBs January 27, 2009

Fast and easy to make,however I thought instructions are missing one important note that one needs to reduce heat to low just before water begins to boil,otherwise you will end up with polenta splashing all over as you are stirring it and will get one nasty burn on your hand like I did.

Arichka June 07, 2010

I wanted a recipe for plain, authentic Italian polenta and this fit the bill! It's the same basic recipe as the one in my Northern Italian Cooking cookbook so I didn't have to add yet another polenta recipe to 'zaar! The only thing I would add to the very clear instructions here is that my cookbook says the polenta is done when it comes away cleanly from the sides of the pot. That may make it a little easier to tell when it's done. Thanks for this great recipe!

Elisa72 March 29, 2008

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