Real Food Fast: Perfectly Creamy, Easy Polenta


An easy polenta recipe is hard to come by. Gourmands and top chefs alike extol the virtues of hours and hours stirring the stuff. Tales of Italian grandmothers abound. But busy families need a shortcut. This is the easiest, most delicious way to get some hearty polenta on your family’s plates in just a half hour.

Polenta makes a great side dish.  We had it this weekend with roast beef, but it has a lot of other uses too. Add a bit of honey for creamy breakfast porridge (also known as corn grits). You can also bake it with a bit of cheese and greens, fry it up into polenta cakes or serve a  stew or braise over it (our favorite is this pork and apple one).

Perfect, Easy Polenta

4 cups water
1 cup polenta, medium grain
1 teaspoon, or more, salt
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the polenta and salt, and bring the mixture back up to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the butter. Cook for 30-35 minutes, whisking the polenta occasionally. Before serving, add the cheese and whisk thoroughly.

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