Polenta, I love you. Yes, I know that I declare my undying love for every food I write about. It is because there is so much great food in the world. But polenta holds a special place in my heart (and stomach).
I love polenta, but evermore so, I love how to brings a community to share a table.
If you are reading this from the US, I don't really know where you can get polenta meal. Stone ground yellow cornmeal probably works, but you'll have to do your own research regarding what you have where you live. My favorite kind of polenta is polenta taragna, which is about 70% polenta meal and 30% coarsely ground buckwheat.
|Polenta Taragna (polenta with buckwheat)|
Making polenta is easy. Basically you want 4 parts water for 1 part polenta, (though some call for 3 parts water for 1 part polenta) and about 100 g polenta meal per person. Cook on a stovetop if you must, but it's tastier when cooked over an open fire.
Ingredients for 5 servings:
500 g stone ground polenta (little bit over a pound)
2 liters of water (little over 2 quarts)
spoonful of coarse salt
Using a big pot, salt your water and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, slowly drizzle in your polenta, whisking all the while. Using a whisk is important so that the polenta doesn't clump up. It'll be liquidly and suddenly it will turn quite thick. Keeping your polenta on medium flame, switch to a big wooden spoon or a big stick and start stirring. You'll want to stir pretty much constantly for about an hour. This is why it is great to do this at a party, because people can take turns stirring.
|Fontina from my neighbor's raw milk vending machine|
|Polenta on a wooden platter ready to be served. See how thick it is?|
|I love eating the polenta crust left in the pot after dumping the polenta out!|
Eat accompanied by simple and strong red wine. If you have leftover polenta, you can slice it and pan fry it in some butter for breakfast. I recommend drizzling the golden brown crispy breakfast polenta with maple syrup. Definitely an American twist on an Italian tradition, but it is seriously delicious.
In my next posts, I will write about polenta toppings.... there are so many delicious options!