Yield: 3.5 cups. Time: about 40 min.
Supremely soothing, basic polenta is the oldest maize food form in Europe. It embraces all manner of garnishment, but welcomes a simple spoon just as eagerly.
EQUIPMENT MISE EN PLACE:
For this recipe, you will need a heavy-bottomed 2½-quart saucepan (preferably one with flared sides), a wooden spoon, and a whisk.
1 cup (6 ounces) Artisan Handmade Fine White Polenta
Spring or filtered water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmigianno Reggiano
Place the polenta and 3½ cups of water in a heavy-bottomed 2½-quart saucepan (preferably one with flared sides) and stir to combine. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the first starch takes hold, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook with the pot lid slightly ajar, stirring frequently, until the grains are soft and hold their shape on a spoon, about 35 minutes. Whisk in the salt, pepper, butter, and Parmesan. Serve hot with your choice of garnishes. (To keep the polenta hot for up to 30 minutes before serving, transfer it to a bowl, cover, and set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. If necessary, thin the polenta with hot water before serving.)