Polenta?

I’m a southern boy, so I really like corn grits. (as if there’s any other kind of grits – but I’m just throwing a bone to my culturally disadvantaged readers here)

I still remember the day when I went to some fancy Italian restaurant and discovered that they had grits with class. Only they called it “polenta.” That was a revelation to me. For the first time, I saw the possibility of ordering a $15 entree with grits (i mean, polenta) that didn’t include bacon, eggs, or milk gravy.
When I make grits at home (it’s been awhile, I admit it), I use the real grits – I’m not a big fan of the instant stuff. That’s probably why I don’t do it all the time, as it makes a big mess of your saucepan. Regardless, it’s just the right thing to do. 
The funny thing is, the last time I had grits, I was in India. Don’t even ask me how that worked out – it’s a long story. Let’s just say it was Monday morning at 5AM and I was watching the Superbowl, eating grits and bacon. with a colleague, while trying to explain the game of football to our Nepalese cook. 
Back to the topic here – I bought a tube of readymade polenta the other day. I wanted to try out an Italian recipe with the stuff at home, and if it worked out, then I figured I’d move it into the rotation using the actual home made stuff. It worked out.
  • 1 pound polenta
  • pasta sauce
  • olive oil and butter
I just heated up about 1/4 cup of olive oil and about 1/4 stick of butter and fried the polenta pieces sliced about 1/4″ thick.  They came in a tube, so it was basically a cylinder of about 2″ diameter. Saute the polenta for about 5 minutes. If they’re not covered by oil, you’ll need to flip them. Serve with pasta sauce (arrabiata, puttanesca, or marinara) and top with parmesan. This is a nice side to any Italian meat dish.

2 Responses to “Polenta?”

  1. Rick Baker says:

    Hey dude. I’ve been eatin’ the grits since I was a kid–my own kids love it, too. The first time I experienced Polenta was several years ago when my wife and I had dinner at the posh Cafe Annie restaurant in Houston. I was like, “Hey, this tastes very familiar. Oh, wait a minute, these are grits.”

    BTW, don’t knock the instant stuff too bad. If they’re cooked just right and, with the right amount of extras–butter, cheese, salt and (lots of) pepper, they’re pretty yummy!

  2. Davide says:

    Yeah, you’re right. I’ve probably eaten the instant kind more than not. No matter what kind you have, they need lots of butter, salt, and pepper. In fact, I have them at the cafeteria at my office on occasion, and I have a feeling they’re the instant kind.

Leave a Response