Basic Polenta

Polenta is an inexpensive, tasty alternative to pasta or rice, and can be served in unlimited ways. Here is a basic recipe for making polenta, as well as numerous serving ideas.

Soft Polenta: Use polenta directly out of the pot, topped with sauce or vegetables as desired.

Firm Polenta: Once completely cooked, pour onto a wooden board or a greased baking sheet about 2 inches thick and allow to set. Cut into squares and serve as desired.

Baked Polenta: Cut the firm polenta into slices, and place in a buttered baking dish. Add desired topping, and bake at 375 degrees F. until golden.

Grilled Polenta: Cut firm polenta into squares, brush with oil and grill lightly on both sides.

Fried Polenta: Cut the firm polenta into slices and fry in a few inches of hot oil until golden brown and crispy.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Basic Polenta

Basic Polenta

Yield: Serves 6 - 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Polenta is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways.


  • 9 Cups Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Cups Cornmeal


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, then add the salt and reduce the heat to medium low.
  2. 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.
  3. Once all the cornmeal has been added, keep the water at a simmer, and stir frequently.
  4. It should take between 25-30 minutes to fully cook the polenta.
  5. Once cooked, the polenta should pull away from the sides of the pot easily.

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