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There is nothing more comforting than creamy polenta, especially on a day when there's a slight chill in the air. It's warm and cheesy and buttery and is the perfect side to any saucy dish, whether it's tomato sauce-based or a jus, a stew or a wine sauce. Believe me when I tell you this is a match made in food heaven!
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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1 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cups polenta or coarse cornmeal

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. In a large pot, bring 5 cups water and the milk to a gentle boil. Add the polenta, along with a good amount of salt and pepper, and stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat down to low, partially cover the pot and allow the polenta to simmer for about 20 minutes, giving it a stir every 5 minutes; depending on the size of your polenta or cornmeal, it may take more or less cooking time to become creamy.
  3. Turn the heat off, add the butter and cheese and give everything a good stir until the butter and cheese melt. Keep in mind that polenta hardens as it sits, so eat up!