Discover with us the secrets to obtain a perfect polenta and have fun making simple or more elaborate Italian polenta recipes
Polenta immediately evokes the warmth of a fireplace, when the days get shorter, and the temperatures drop. In Italian homes, polenta was prepared to celebrate with family and friends when the first cold weather arrived, especially in the mountain villages of northern Italy. It was served directly on the kitchen table and eaten together from that single plate, until reaching the center where the most succulent piece of meat was kept. Today it is widespread in all Italian regions and served in different ways depending on the area, the most used in Italy is yellow corn polenta, but there are also other varieties. National Polenta Day is celebrated on 9th October and this celebration makes it clear how this dish has a strong identity value.
Italian Polenta recipe? Soft and steamy? Grilled, fried, au gratin? In this article, we will discover together the different cooking methods and the secrets to obtaining a perfect polenta and creating simple or more elaborate recipes with this magical gold-colored flour. Polenta is a versatile and easy-to-make dish that can be experimented with many condiments or simply plain as an accompaniment to meat, fish, and vegetables. Low-calorie and gluten-free, therefore also ideal for celiac, polenta is rich in mineral salts, vitamins, and proteins: a healthy but also delicious food. Come with us to discover the Italian polenta recipe.
Italian polenta: the classic recipe
Polenta is a famous cornerstone of the Italian culinary tradition, a simple and delicious dish made with corn flour and salt water cooked over a slow heat to transform into a soft sun-coloured cream, but when it cools it becomes solid and can be cut with a knife or with cotton thread as they used to do, ideal if you choose to experiment with fried polenta.
Here is the classic version of Italian polenta recipe cooked at home to obtain a soft consistency without lumps. In this article we will give you instructions for preparing polenta with the classic method. There are also instant flours on the market today, but first we suggest you experiment and choose the Italian polenta recipe with the classic method. The traditional pot for cooking polenta was and remains the cast iron or copper paiolo (cauldron), today there are also steel versions and with automatic mixers, but for now a steel pot with a thick bottom will be more than sufficient for your preparation.
The ingredients and the procedure for a perfect polenta
Ingredients for 4 people
Corn flour 500 grams
Water 2 litres
Coarse salt 1 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil 15 grams
Here's the Italian polenta recipe: Pour 2 liters of water into the pan and wait for the water to come close to boiling, add the salt and then pour in the corn flour, stirring continuously with a wooden ladle. When you proceed with this operation, keep high temperature fire. Add the oil, you will need it to avoid creating lumps, wait for your mixture to boil again then reduce to the minimum, continue cooking for another 50 minutes. Your polenta is ready, now the choice of seasoning is yours.
If instead of a soft polenta with seasoning you want to know the Italian solid polenta recipe, spread it on a baking tray, level the surface, placing a sheet of baking paper on top and let it cool for at least two hours in the refrigerator. This procedure is ideal for fried polenta. After two hours, slice the polenta into sticks or squares which you will fry in plenty of seed oil and immerse it for at least 8 minutes until you see it golden, then add salt and chopped rosemary, eat it very hot, even in this case you can lean towards for an accompaniment. If, however, you want to try polenta au gratin in the oven, as soon as the polenta is ready with the classic recipe procedure, pour it into a well-oiled pan, pour over a meat sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan and put it in the oven at 200° for 20 minutes, add a final layer of parmesan and put it back in the oven with the grill mode.
Three perfect sauces to pair with polenta
How to prepare a perfect match for the Italian polenta recipe. Meat, fish, vegetables? Once placed on a wooden cutting board or on a serving plate you can now indulge in its seasoning.
Let's start with the meat, an ideal sauce to pair with polenta if you are a meat lover is the sauce with pork ribs and sausages, a delicious sauce that once combined with polenta will become a unique and substantial dish, you won't need to eat anything else. For this sauce, chop the onions and carrots and brown them; then, add the ribs and the sausages, when they are golden, add the tomato puree, add salt, and leave to cook over a low heat for at least two hours.
If you love fish, an excellent pairing is polenta with cod stewed in sauce or even plain, or polenta with Venetian-style creamed cod, a typical recipe from the beautiful city of Venice, you will often find it on the menus of the city lagoon.
If you prefer vegetables or are a vegetarian, an excellent pairing porcini mushrooms, the recipe is also very quick, just put a large pan on the heat with a few tablespoons of oil and a clove of garlic, once heated add the chopped mushrooms cut into pieces and leave to cook for about 20 minutes, once cooked add the parsley and your seasoning is ready to put on the polenta, there are many alternatives. If you prefer to use the Italian fried polenta recipe, a perfect match will be grilled vegetables, this recipe is also good for a cool summer evening, in this mode it is also enjoyed as finger food as an aperitif.
How to prepare the Italian polenta concia recipe
Finally, we suggest you experiment with a recipe that will allow you to have a single preparation and bring to the table a dish that does not require additions: polenta concia.
Typical dish of Aosta Valley cuisine but there is also a Piedmontese version, this recipe combines fontina cheese with corn flour, creating a nutritious and delicious combination that will be worth enjoying in winter, perhaps when it snows outside and can warm you up in an instant.
Use the same procedure as the classic Italian polenta recipe, when the polenta is cooked, add 150 grams of diced fontina cheese and some butter to the pan, mix again to melt these new ingredients and the polenta concia will be ready. Here are the various ways to realize the Italian polenta recipe, simple but delicious recipes to enjoy at home in simple steps.