This polenta recipe is simple and easy to create. Traditionally, polenta was considered the food of the poor in Italy.
That's because it is basically a simple dish made from cornmeal.
Think of it as being similar to grits or rice, a side dish made from a grain.
Although you can find arguments against corn being a grain, I think if you consider it can be served in bread and as a cereal, it fits the grain category quite well to me.
In a large heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then add the salt. Turn the heat down to simmer, and slowly pour in the flour. Stir the water constantly with a whisk, until all of the flour has been added.
Once this is done, replace your whisk with a wooden spoon, continuing to stir the mixture over low to medium heat until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. (This process takes a while, sometimes up to half an hour so don't give up - keep mixing!)
When it has formed a mass, remove the pot from the stove. Wet the inside of a large bowl and spoon the mixture inside. Allow this to set for about 5-10 minutes, and then flip it over onto a serving dish.
You can serve this dish with almost any type of sauce that you wish, like a basic tomato or a meat sauce.
Or continue from here to make a fried or grilled version that will be perfect for as antipasti or to accompany your main course!
Polenta can be a side dish similar to rice or grits, seasoned with butter or cheese.
It can also be cut into wedges or triangles and toasted to make a great bed for an appetizer topping or just served on its own as a type of bread.
Think of it as a thin cornbread toast, for example.