La polenta della nonna

Here is an authentic family recipe, the real Italian polenta (corn semolina), specialty from the North of Italy. Of course, as all grand-mothers’ recipes, there should be no measures nor weights of ingredients. You should feel the polenta! And experience, patience and time should do the rest. But still, I’ll try to give you some tips here 😉

According to the traditional method, polenta should be cooked on a wood stove (la stufa) in a big copper pan (il paiolo). Obviously, using a normal pan on a normal stove is okay.

In the Verona region and in my husband’s family, they are used to eat it with baccalà (dried cod) stewed in a white wine sauce. It is also great with meat stew or simply some gorgonzola cheese.

You will need:

  • corn semolina
  • coarse salt
  • water

In a pan, bring to a boil some water. Salt it to around 5 grams per liter of water.

Pour in the corn semolina slowly whisking at the same time to avoid lumps. You will need 3 volumes of water per volume of semolina. As an example, you can boil 3 cups of water (with 1 gram of salt) for 1 cup of semolina.

Let it cook at low fire, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It should cook 30 to 40 minutes. That’s the secret: you should earn it with your biceps! If needed, you can add some semolina or water to adjust the texture of the polenta. Add some salt if needed as well. It should be consistent enough and the wooden spoon should remain standing in it.

When it’s done, turn the pan upside down quickly onto a wooden board. Serve immediately cutting it into nice wedges.

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