Polenta is an inexpensive, tasty alternative to pasta or rice, and can
be served in unlimited ways. Here is a basic recipe for making polenta that Nonna uses, as well as numerous serving
ideas. Nonna ususually serves her polenta soft, topped with her famous
Tomato Sauce in which she cooks both sausages and meatballs. Simply brown the sausages well, and add them to the sauce
with the meatballs.
9 Cups Cold Water
2 Tablespoons Salt
2 Cups Cornmeal
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt and reduce the heat to medium low. As
soon as the water begins to simmer, start pouring in the cornmeal in a thin stream, very
slowly while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps. Once all the cornmeal
has been added, keep the water at a simmer, and stir frequently. It should take between 25-30
minutes to fully cook the polenta. Once cooked, the polenta should pull away from the sides of
the pot easily.
Use polenta directly out of the pot, topped with sauce or vegetables as desired. To serve it as Nonna Lina does, scoop a generous
portion onto a plate, and let it sit a minute or two. Next top the polenta with a scoop of her famous
Tomato Sauce, and offer sausages and meatballs on the side. Of course, grated Parmesan cheese is offered to top the polenta and
sauce as well!
Once completely cooked, pour onto a wooden board or a greased baking sheet about 2 inches thick and allow to set. Cut into squares and serve as
Cut the firm polenta into slices, and place in a buttered baking dish. Add desired topping, and
bake at 375 degrees F. until golden.
Cut firm polenta into squares, brush with oil and grill lightly on both sides.
Cut the firm polenta into slices and fry in a few inches of hot oil until golden
brown and crispy.
Nonna Lina ~ 2003