Polenta has been dubbed by some as “Italian grits” and is still known as peasant food in most parts of Italy. Peasant food or food fit for a king, either way it is delicious!
5 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ¼ cup of medium grain, yellow cornmeal
1/8-¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons butter
- In a large saucepan, place the 5 cups of water and the salt. Bring to a boil and add cornmeal gradually by handfuls stirring to avoid lumps. When the mixture starts to thicken, approximately 3 minutes, reduce heat and simmer the polenta, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring constantly, until very thick and mixture starts to pull away from the pan. Remove from heat; add the black pepper, Parmesan cheese and butter. Mix well.
- Oil a 9 ½ x 5 ½ inch baking dish and fill with the warm polenta. Smooth the polenta out evenly with a rubber spatula. Cover the pan, refrigerate several hours or overnight until completely cooled, and firm.
- To serve, cut polenta into large squares then cut each large square in half, horizontally, making two halves. Pan-fry the slices in olive oil until golden brown on both sides.
That day I made a simple Italian sausage marinara and served it on top of the fried polenta. After cooking the sausage, I slice the sausage into 1/2 inch medallions/circles and add it to the marinara right before the marinara is finished cooking.