Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Polenta is akin to Southern grits, so even though it’s Italian in origin, it resonates with Americans as stick-to-your ribs comfort food. Its thick, creamy, starchiness is perfect as a bed for rich braises and stews, or garnished with a sauce or vegetables that play off its nutty, minerally notes, polenta itself can the basis for a substantial meal.

Traditionally, polenta requires constant stirring for up to an hour. With the novel techniques this recipe employs, you’ll have a potful of flavorful polenta with far less work and much less time than if you had cooked the polenta the traditional way. A simple topping of sautéed cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese turns the polenta into a hearty first course or a light main course (that’s vegetarian, to boot).

Total Cooking Time: 75

Preparation Time: 30

Active Cooking Time: 45

Make Ahead: Serve immediately

Yield: 4 servings

Difficulty: Easy