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How to Make Polenta

Cooking Essentials: How to Make Polenta from Scratch at Home

Traditionally, polenta is a staple food of Italy, but nowadays it is made and loved by the people all around the world. It is easy to make and because of its bland taste one can experiment a lot with the traditional recipie. Let's have a look on its preparation and some simple ways to make it more delicious.
Niharika Arya
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2017
The history of polenta comes from the rural section of Italy. There was a time when the poor people of Northern Italy were trying hard to get something which was cheaper and wholesome. This brought polenta into the picture. Polenta is a dish which in the olden or initial days was made from grains or legumes and water. Then, later on, the grain was replaced by corn and now it is a very famous, nutritious and delicious dish of Italian cuisine. Previously it was called the dish for the poor but soon it became the staple food of Italy. So, let's find out how to make this Italian dish and what can be done to improve its taste and its nutritional values.
Making Polenta from Scratch
Polenta is very easy and simple Italian food. It can be prepared by anyone, and can be modified according to ones taste and requirement. So, let's have a look on the ingredients required.
Ingredients Required
  • 2 cups Ground Corn (yellow/white)
  • 6 cups Water
  • Stirrer
  • Salt to taste
  • Stove
  • Take the above mentioned quantity of water in a container and place it on the stove. Let the water boil.
  • Add the required amount of salt and stir the water so that the salt gets mixed with the water.
  • Once the water is boiled, lower the flame. Now add the cornmeal slowly in the water.
  • Keep on stirring the solution with the help of a stirrer. Do not let the cornmeal settle down in the container as this can burn the cornmeal.
  • Cook the polenta for at least 45 minutes while keep stirring it constantly.
  • You can add more water, if you find it dry or uncooked.
  • Once the polenta is cooked take it down from the stove and spread it over a flat container and let it dry.
  • As soon as the polenta dries up it will form a cake like structure. You can cut it according to your desired shape and can have toppings and icing according to your taste buds.
Tips on Making Polenta More Delicious
After going through the normal preparation of polenta, we have few tips for you with which you can make your Italian dish more delicious and nutritious. The bland taste of polenta gives it an added advantage to experiment with the dish with different ingredients. So, just try out with our following recipes.
  • If you are wondering how to make creamy polenta, then here is the recipe. While boiling the water, instead of salt, add sugar dry fruits, honey, milk and butter. Now add the cornmeal and repeat the same procedure just like the normal polenta. This can be served as an Italian dessert.
  • You can add seeds and nuts to the grounded cornmeal. It will add to the nutritious value of your polenta dish.
  • In boiling water you can add chopped vegetables and tomato sauce, then add the cornmeal and prepare it like the normal polenta. This will increase the nutrition value and will add taste to the recipe.
  • You can cut the prepared polenta into the desire shape and get it grilled. Now serve them with grilled meat or sausages.
  • Press the polenta in a pan and use it as a pizza base.
  • Cut the polenta in small pieces and fry them. Serve them as snacks or finger foods.
Instant polenta can be made in the microwave. This does not take much time and can be easily prepared within minutes. So, try new dishes with polenta and give your taste buds an Italian treat.
Polenta cakes
Stirring Polenta in container
Pot of water boiling on a black natural gas stove.