Polenta is a traditional recipe from northern Italy, specifically from the mountainous region of Lombardy. It is a hearty and comforting recipe in cold weather. It is a recipe based on corn flour. In the old days it was cooked over a low heat in a large casserole with plenty of boiling water, salt and olive oil for about 50 minutes.

Today I suggest you use an instant polenta. They sell packs of 500 grams in any supermarket. Boil water with salt (see instructions on the packet for quantities) and pour in the polenta packet, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. I usually add butter and parmesan cheese directly during cooking as it gives it creaminess and is much richer. The cooking in this case is very fast so be careful.

It cooks in a few minutes and is much easier or at least faster. So we can use it instead of potato or pasta if we feel like something hearty on a cold day and something different from the traditional. It can be eaten plain with parmesan cheese or served with bolognese sauce, sauce with mushrooms. Baked in a baking dish with slices of sweet ham and cheese au gratin ….

Another modality is to form a ball with what is left over (if there is any left over…) and form a square. Let it cool and you can eat it the next day by cutting it into chips and frying it in a frying pan. serve it fried with salt is awesome!

You can see that it is very versatile and in fact everyone can serve it as they like. We have made this recipe many times at home. When you run out of ideas and you’re sick of the same old same old, always have a packet of polenta handy.

Either way it’s a delight!