Serves 6
Serve the polenta immediately if you like it smooth and creamy or top it with sauteed mushrooms. To eat it fried, spread it into a baking dish, let it firm up, then cut it into squares to pan-fry.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup polenta (stone-ground corn meal)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water and cream to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the salt. Slowly stir in the polenta, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the cheese, optional herbs, pepper, and remaining tablespoon of butter. Serve immediately or spread in a baking dish to firm up.
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