Quick-cooking polenta: delicious recipes and perfect pairings
Among the cornerstones of Italian cuisine, polenta is a traditional peasant dish that originated in northern Italy and can now be found throughout the peninsula in both traditional versions and modern reinterpretations.
Composed of water and corn or other grain flour, polenta originated as an accompaniment to meat dishes, most notably game birds but also stews and pork cuts in general. It was prepared by a lengthy cooking process in the so-called "cauldron," a large copper pot with high thermal conductivity: an ideal vessel for preparing this dish. The ingredients then had to be stirred continuously, which turned its preparation into a true family celebration where grandparents, uncles, nieces, and nephews all took turns at the stove.
Nowadays there are products on the market that help you make great polenta in no time at all: find out how to prepare it in just a few simple steps, and which dishes can be easily paired with it for a truly remarkable result!
What is quick-cooking polenta?
Instant polenta is made from flour obtained by grinding steamed, pre-cooked corn. A very handy solution for those who have little time for cooking yet don't want to forego the flavor of this warm, hearty dish.
The average cooking time? Less than 10 minutes!
Quick-cooking polenta: 4 easy and delicious pairings
A popular trend in Italy is to enjoy polenta with cheese. Offered as a single-course meal in some trattorias, polenta with cheese combines polenta's warm softness with the lusciousness of melted cheese for a burst of flavor appreciated by young and old alike. Recommended cheeses include gorgonzola, fontina, and asiago, as well as hefty shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. The result is a dish that is not only delicious, but one that also has a good balance of carbohydrates and protein: try it and see for yourself!
Another variation pairs polenta with meat sauce (ragù di carne), the Italian cuisine’s world-famous sauce made from shredded or minced meat, cooked at length and seasoned according to local customs. Ready-made meat sauce is also available in convenient glass jars, or you can also find it at our takeaway restaurant: contact us for availability!
Extremely popular in some mountainous areas of northern Italy, polenta with porcini mushrooms is our third pairing up for sampling. Both sautéed porcini mushrooms — more difficult to find in the United States — and ready-made porcini mushroom sauce are perfect here: lunch is served!
Our last tip is dedicated to all American BBQ fans and grilling enthusiasts: instant polenta is a perfect pairing for sausages, ribs, briskets, and bacon, as well as for fish entrees based on octopus, shrimp, and stockfish. You can also try it toasted, with a little gorgonzola smeared on the top: your guests will be amazed!