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Ingredients (5)

  • 6 cups cold water, plus up to 1/2 cup more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
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Nutritional Information
  • Calories294
  • Fat14.08g
  • Saturated fat7.99g
  • Trans fat0.49g
  • Carbs31.56g
  • Fiber1.53g
  • Sugar0.71g
  • Protein9.62g
  • Cholesterol38.99mg
  • Sodium351.69mg
  • Nutritional Analysis per serving (6 servings) Powered by

Polenta, writes Chez Panisse’s Cal Peternell in Twelve Recipes, is “more ratio than recipe.” The standard is 4 parts water to 1 part polenta, simmered for 30 minutes. Be careful to add the polenta to the boiling water in a slow, steady stream with one hand as you whisk with the other—this will prevent lumps from forming. (If you end up with a few lumps despite your best efforts, don’t sweat it; it’ll still taste delicious.) Enriching it at the end with butter and cheese isn’t strictly necessary, so feel free to leave them out. Soft polenta is the perfect accompaniment to crisp-skinned porchetta.


  1. 1Bring the water and salt to a boil in heavy-bottomed, 2- to 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. 2When the water starts to boil, add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. When the polenta begins to bubble, lower the heat to medium-low. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir.
  3. 3Let the polenta simmer gently, adjusting the heat to low as necessary. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick and looks creamy, about 30 minutes. if it looks too thick, add up to 1/2 cup additional water.
  4. 4Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Serve immediately.
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