We recommend pairing Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti DOCG with this polenta recipe.

Polenta is one of the basics of Italian cooking. It can be used as an appetizer, a main dish or a side. The core components of polenta are cornmeal and water and the possibilities are broad.

Polenta, when served warm, can be on its own with butter and cheese, like parmesan or even creamy gorganzola. Polenta is wonderfully adaptable to most dishes that are braised, roasted or stewed as it incorporates the flavors of the dish.

When let to cool after cooking, polenta can then be sliced into triangles or squares for grilling, or even into sticks for gently frying. Can also be re-baked with cheese or butter.

6 cups water
1 1/2 cups of Italian course-ground or stone-ground polenta
1 tsp salt

Bring water to a boil in a large, heavy pot. Add the salt, and maintain the boiling water at about medium-high heat. Add the polenta in a very thin stream, whisking as you do to make sure there are no clumps. Once all of the polenta has been added, switch from a whisk to a heavy wooden spoon and continue to stir at the same heat. Stir continuously, making sure there is no sticking at the bottom or the sides of the pot. Cook ? and stir ? until polenta is thick and creamy, about 30 – 40 minutes, maybe longer depending on the style of polenta. The polenta should pull away from the sides of the pot easily. Taste to make sure the grains are fully cooked. Can then pour the polenta into a steel bowl or pan, let it become firm so that it is still warm, but will juggle when moved. Then turn bowl or pan over onto a platter so that the polenta is a dome or square. Cut and serve.

Variations: Butter and Cheese
Add about 1 to 2 TBSP of butter and 1/4- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese just before polenta is completely cooked. Serve immediately

For grilling or baking
Pour polenta onto buttered baking sheet or other flat surface about 3 inches thick. Allow to cool completely. Cover and chill if planning to cut and grill or bake.