Recipe: How to Cook Polenta


A great staple, Polenta is easy to cook, especially as quick cooking Polenta is available, and very delicious. Infinitely variable.

When cooking Polenta, use a stock for greater flavour. Use good vegetable stocks. Even an Asian-flavoured stock works, but  don’t mix the cheese into the Polenta (see the recipe). Stock can be made immediately prior to making the Polenta, for example, bring some water to the boil, add chopped chillies, chopped shallots, chopped garlic, a porcini mushroom or two, some fresh thyme and oregano, some bay leaves. Simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, remove the thyme stalks and bay leaves, add polenta and continue to cook as described in the recipe.

Read more about Polenta. You might also like Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers, Grilled Polenta, and Onion and Chilli Polenta.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005.  Feel free to browse other recipes in our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Italian recipes and Polenta recipes. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes too.

Peter's Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers


(serves 6 – 8)

350 g polenta 1.75 – 2 l water or stock sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 g butter at room temperature 200 g parmesan cheese

Put the polenta in a jug so that it can be poured at a steady stream. This is important to stop the polenta from becoming lumpy.

Bring the water or stock to the boil in a large saucepan and add 1 tspn salt. Lower the heat to a simmer and slowly add the polenta, stirring with a whisk until completely blended. It will now start to bubble volcanically. Reduce the heat to as low as possible, and cook the polenta, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon to prevent a skin forming on the top, for about 40 – 45 minutes. (If you are using quick cooking polenta, it will cook much quicker.) The polenta is cooked when it falls away from the sides of the pan and has become thick and dense.

Stir in the butter and parmesan, and season generously with pepper and salt.

Serving options: Serve wet, with gorgonzola, Mascarpone and fresh marjoram. With chilli mushrooms. With peas, spring onions and parmesan. With …… let your imagination run wild.


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