Polenta is an Italian staple and it is amazingly versatile. It can be eaten so many ways I can’t even count them all. But I’m willing to try them all. Especially this polenta! Why you ask? well, I was VERY excited when I was contacted recently by Scott who runs Sausage Debachery – Artisanal Italian Food Products.
They pride themselves on bringing unique, top quality, imported Italian food products. They scour the entire Italian peninsula to find the most rare and hard to find food products.
From apple vinegar in the Dolomites, to prickly pear jam from Sicily & even kitchen gadgets (hello gnocchi board) Right up my alley.
Simply gorgeous products! Hello they’re authentic Italian products, what’s not to love right? Scott, generously sent me some of his products and first up I tried the La Grande Ruota Fioretto per Polenta.
I could tell I was going to love this straight away. It was the consistency I am used to, the smell, the color. Everything!
So incredibly creamy! *swoon* Plus, it’s made in the Veneto region which is very close to where I spent many years in Friuli.
How Do You Cook Polenta?
Polenta is typically cooked in a huge copper pot known as paiolo. I sadly do not have a paiolo so I used a very heavy bottom pot and of course a wooden spoon.
It does require some attention ehem LOVE during cooking. Which equates to stirring. This is how I get my exercise so I mind not. Plus I know what’s coming at the end of all that stirring.
If you didn’t want to make the polenta into cakes. Just stop and enjoy the creamy goodness after cooking. I do love the creamy polenta but I also like the variation of the pan frying. It has a nice texture to the outside and it’s still oh so creamy and delicious inside. Perfect!
How do you get Polenta into a Circle Shape?
To get those perfect circles I use a cookie cutter or glass. Here’s a TIP, I spray my glass with a little cooking spray prior to cutting the circles. This way the glass just slides right off (I won’t charge you for that one LOL)
You can make the circles as small or as large as you like. Just remember the larger they are the longer they will need to cook.
I served my polenta cakes this weekend with my Pollo al Marsala (Chicken Marsala). It was the perfect compliment to the luscious sauce of the Pollo al Marsala. Ah just a happy plate all together.
- 5 cups of water
- 1 cup of Fine Corn Meal (Polenta)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Parmigian Reggiano – grated
- In a large sauce pan bring water to a rolling boil. Season heavily with salt. GRADUALLY add in the cornmeal and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until mixture thickens. Stirring often.
- WHILE polenta is cooking spray a casserole dish with a small amount of cooking spray.
- Line the dish with saran wrap and set aside.
- Once the polenta has thickened approx 30 minutes, check for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
- Pour the mixture into the saran wrap lined dish. Add another layer of saran wrap on top and smooth it down directly on top of the polenta.
- Place into the refrigerator for approx 2 hours to set up.
- When you are ready to make the polenta cakes. Lift the polenta out of the dish. Remove the saran wrap and place polenta onto a cutting board.
- Using a round cookie cutter or glass make 6 polenta circles “cakes”.
- Place a saute pan over medium heat and add approx 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
- When oil is hot place the polenta circles into the pan.
- Cook until a golden crust has formed on both sides. Turning as little as possible.
- When cakes are nearly finished, season with a smidge of pepper and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano to the tops of the cakes.
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