Simple Polenta is the perfect accompaniment for braised meats, grilled seafood, or a variety of other relatively soft proteins or vegetables.  If you have any left0ver, spread it out to about 1/4-inch thick and let it set. It will harden.  The polenta may then be cut and used as appetizers or for other things.
Simple Polenta

Simple Polenta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 1 Quart chicken, fish or vegetable stock, clam juice or water (add 1 Cup more for soft polenta)
  • 1 Cup coarse polenta corn meal
  • 1/4 Cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt, to taste (omit for fish stock or clam juice)
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a heavy saucepan bring stock to a boil.
  2. Stir in polenta slowly - adding just a little at a time- to prevent lumps.
  3. Reduce heat to low and with a wooden spoon stir regularly to prevent polenta from burning. Don't use a whisk!
  4. Continue stirring and cooking for 45 to 50 minutes or until polenta is tender.
  5. Stir in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. If too thick, stir in a little more stock before serving.
Polenta must be cooked completely or it has a bitter taste. Stirring every 10 minutes once the heat has been reduced is sufficient, but this isn't easy. The polenta becomes quite thick and should be thinned, when this happens, with a little water.

If using clam juice, don't use a full quart. Add clam juice to water or fish stock - about half each.

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