Polenta is possibly one of the oldest and most famous of Italian dishes. Originating in Northern Italy, it soon became an essential for working class families all over the country as a simple yet hearty meal. Traditionally, it is made of course stone-ground cornmeal, but different variations have formed over time. It can be made many ways, in a soft, porridge style form paired with cheeses, beans, or meats or in a cooled hardened form that is great for frying! The options are endless with this classic ingredient but lets dive into a rich and creamy version that originates from Valle d’Aosta!
Bring the water to the boil and add salt. Start whisking in the polenta until it mixes together, then let the mixture simmer for 45 minutes. Stir often to break up any lumps. If the mixture becomes too thick and starts clumping, add water little by little until the consistency is smooth again.
Dice up the cheese into small squares.
Pour the milk into the polenta mixture and lightly stir to combine, then add the cheese and butter – continue stirring until it has all melted together.
Add a little bit of salt and pepper to taste, then serve up and drizzle melted butter on top. Add some more fresh pepper if desired and enjoy!