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Basic Polenta

Preparation instructions for basic polenta, in case you wanted to try it from its granulated form.

Basic Polenta


  • 1 cup of polenta flour
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the salt with the water, and bring the mixture up to a boil.
  2. Slowly add in 1/3 of the polenta flour and stir. The first addition will cause the water to bubble and froth. This will clear up within seconds.
  3. Keep adding in the rest of the flour and stir.
  4. Lower your heat, and simmer the polenta for 30-45 minutes. You will need to stir almost constantly, or at least a few times every few minutes.
  5. When the polenta is finished, it should be a very thick and sticky paste. Spoon the mixture out of the pot and onto a wood cutting board. Here is where you should flatten or shape the polenta into the final mass you want based on thickness.
  6. Allow the polenta to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Slice and cut the polenta into any shape you desire, and season/serve as you see fit.

Quick Notes

For the sake of this recipe, I used the term “polenta flour” to describe the cornmeal or corn grits. You can use plain old normal cornmeal, but course ground corn grits will give you a better texture. Most grocers should carry corn grits meant for polenta. I would also advise not using instant polenta if you happen to see it.

Use a long spoon and be careful for puffs of stream (and possibly polenta) that come popping out as you simmer.

Don’t let the polenta sit too long without stirring. The goal is to keep the heat consistent and to simmer the mixture until practically all of the water has soaked into the flour or evaporated away.

Tags: polenta, Italian

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