Soft Polenta

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
15 min
1 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarse- or medium-ground polenta
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • In a heavy pot, bring 3 cups water to a rolling boil. Have the remaining water simmering nearby. Add the salt and stir the water rapidly with a whisk, stirring in the same circular direction to create a vortex, into which pour the polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring continuously all the while to prevent the formation of lumps. Continue to stir after all the polenta has been added, and lower the heat so that the mixture simmers slowly rather than boils. When the polenta begins to thicken, replace the whisk with a long-handled wooden spoon. Add 1 cup remaining water and continue to stir. Should you find lumps, use the back of the spoon to press them against the sides of the pot until they break up. Continue to stir the polenta, being sure to reach down to the bottom of the pot, until it is thick and pulls away from the sides of the pot. Taste the polenta to be sure that the grains are tender; add more water as necessary. It will take 15 to 60 minutes, certain types of cornmeal that simply do not become tender quickly will take longer. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the pepper and butter, followed by the cheese. Remove from the heat. To serve immediately, pour onto a large platter or into a bowl or individual dishes.

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    Soft Polenta

    Recipe courtesy of Michael Chiarello