- 5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 1 3/4 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)*
- 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 4 ounces)
Bring 5 cups chicken broth to boil in heavy 4-quart saucepan. Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly. Return mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until polenta is tender, stirring frequently and adding more chicken broth by 1/4 cupfuls if polenta is too thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Gorgonzola and cream; stir until cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*Sold at some supermarkets and at natural foods stores and Italian markets. If unavailable, substitute an equal amount of regular yellow cornmeal and cook about half as long.
Okay, this is one of those reviews that changed things up- for the better I believe. Used half milk and half H2O to add creaminess. Total of 5 cups liquid to assure it stayed creamy. Discovered that one does not NECESSARILY have to keep stirring the whole time! I had to turn it off after only 5 minutes of cooking due to schedule change. Polenta continued to gently thicken up but did not clump at all. When I was ready (40 minutes later!) I just brought it back up to heat and finished as directed. Perfect! Who knew? Best soft polenta I ever ate! Got raves.
the gorgonzola in the polenta is exceptional. you can easily double up the mushroom portion.
I rated this recipe a ɴ' because it is not only wonderful as written, but it is fundamentally strong enough to allow adaptation to fit special circumstances. The polenta can be emboldened simply by the use of broth instead of water. The use of other mushrooms can compliment different main dishes. The use of other cheeses can help to marry the polenta to its peers of plate. This is a recipe worth holding in the ɿrequently used' part of the recipe box -- the sort of recipe that inspires both confidence and creativity in the cook.
Absolutely fantastic recipe. I did the instant polenta with portobello mushrooms and a good helping of gorgonzola, and my partner thought heɽ died and gone to heaven (and this from a man who claimed not to like polenta). Very easy dish that looks like it requires more effort than it actually does. My only suggestion would be that if you are finding the polenta a bit bland, add more salt, it does wonders for polenta.
I am biased I LOVE polenta. I found a large (over a pound) bag at a local Pavilion (Vons, Safeway)for the ridiculous price of $1.50. This is not instant polenta, but I cooked it at a very low simmer and turned the fire off to let it steam. I used dried porcinis and fresh crimins and only made half the recipe. I only had pecorino romano and grated parmasean - still delish. This is comfort food.
I haven't yet tried this recipe, but I want to speak on behalf of the Italian-raised lady (see review about seven items down). Polenta doesn't refer to corn, but to crushed grain, or even other substances similarly used. I'm guessing that the -lent- in polenta is from the Latin "lentus", meaning slow, and refers to the method of cooking. The lady may be confusing polenta with arborio rice (both cooked slowy), but it's also possible that some Italians use the term "polenta rice" to mean arborio rice. In any case, it sounds as though she made risotto using this recipe and loved it, so we might want to consider giving that a try too!
Porcinis are a bit pricey for my wallet, I substituted portabellas and buttons, and they worked well. Love gorgonzola, so I loved this dish, even though I hated polenta as a kid (thank God for maturity). Also, the "cook" who was "raised Italian" could at least learn to misspell mozzarella consistently or their poor Gram will be flipping in her grave. But, if you live in wine country, some exceptions must be given. Mangia, beva.
Okay, so I cheated and used instant polenta (it was actually all I found at the store here), but it was delicious and incredibly rich. It would be good with the addition of any fresh herbs.
I found this recipe very easy to make. I did add some of my own ingredients to give it some "snap": fresh basil from the garden and believe it or not, a little nutmeg, and half a cup of cream. I prefer to cook the polenta on a lower heat, and a little slower. Good luck. This will definitely become a family staple.
You keep referencing Marcella's "no-stirring" method, but you don't elaborate. In a nutshell: 1) boil water, add salt, and add the polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly and maintaining a boil 2)when all cornmeal has been added, stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes 3)Cover pot, keep at lively simmer, and remove cover and stir every 10 minutes for 1 minute until 40 minutes have elapsed. Give it another 5 minutes to loose grainyness, remove from heat and stir for 1 minute. Proceed with recipe.
Very easy vegetarian meal. Needs a "strong" cheese to give it the zip. I used some Talegggio along with the gorgonzola. Would be a wonderful side dish with grilled chicken or veal.
I think the other reviewer is confusing polenta and risotto. Polenta is made using corn meal, and risotto is made using rice.
I was raised Italian. Food is sacred to me. And to make this meal properly, with the "real" polenta rice, is to send this dish to heaven. I made the plolenta as it is shown but skipped the instant stuff. Family time is polenta time. Like my loving Gram said, God rest her soul. In the old way, slow cooking the special Italian rice found in Italian Mom and Pop stores across our great country was the norm. Back then,folks would saute handfulls of the Italian rice (ask the store owner for the polenta rice)and cook it SLOWLY with a splash dry white wine (optional)and olive oil, 3 ot 4 cloves smashed garlic and tablespoon of fresh saffron stems. The reason for doing this is you want to make your polenta so it cooks from the inside out. If you have ever had it and is has a chewey consistentcy, that is because the polenta was cooked too fast and raw in the center of the kernel. Once the polenta is aromatic and fluffed up, enjoy with this recipes and a glass of good Sonoma wine and some fresh sour dough bread. And, as a special bonus, the next day, you can pat your polenta into "pancakes" ,stuff the two pancakes with motzarelli cheese and mushroooms and shallots, roll the "pool balls" sized meatballs you have formed using your hands and deep fry them in olive oil. To die for and in more ways then one but you will love this second hidden bonus of making authentic polenta. It was my favorite of Grams many wonderful meals "telephone wires" We used to call them that because when you break open the "polenta" balls the motsarella cheese would ooze out and make the "strings" and we would be a jazzed about that for some reason. Gram had a way of making the ordinary sing. And, she would want you to enjoy polenta in the true Italian manner and eat the aromatic alternative with this recipe. Love life that way. Ciao!
Lidia Bastianich’s Polenta Torta with Gorgonzola and Savoy Cabbage
This is an ideal preparation for a crowd. You can assemble the tart the day before and then bake it the day of your gathering, and it also reheats well. It’s delicious with Gorgonzola and cabbage, but you can vary the filling in this torta however you wish. I love vegetables with polenta but you can treat this cake like a pizza and stuff it with sliced grilled sausages, mozzarella, and some tomato sauce to moisten the filling. I also like using a leftover ragù or a combination of other sautéed vegetables with the potato-and-cheese base. Save the extra sauce and serve it on the side when slicing the torta di polenta.
— Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
• ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith and Lidia talk about this recipe during Lidia’s guest appearance on The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze®. •
Excerpted from Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian: 220 Foolproof Recipes That Make Every Meal a Party by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2017 Tutti a Tavola, LLC. Photo by Steve Giralt.
Gorgonzola Polenta - Recipes
Italian Pot Roast (Stracotto) and Oven-Baked Gorgonzola Polenta is the ultimate Italian comfort food combination your family and friends will love! Slowly braised beef in a red wine-infused sauce and an easy, hands-off polenta combine to create a dish for perfect stress-free entertaining!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 (4-pound) chuck roast
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 12 cloves of garlic (2 chopped, 10 sliced), divided
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 can (14.5-ounce) beef broth, with enough water added to make 2 cups
- 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 large bay leaves
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup polenta (coarse ground)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ROAST: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chuck roast liberally with salt and black pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Place chuck roast in Dutch oven and brown well on both sides, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, pour off and discard browning fat.
- Refresh oil with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and pancetta. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 7-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add chopped garlic and cook briefly 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the wine and bring to a boil. Boil 1-2 minutes.
- Add the beef back to the pot along with any accumulated juices.
- Add beef broth, tomatoes, sliced garlic, rosemary, Italian seasoning and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
- Place a layer of aluminum foil or parchment paper over the top of the Dutch oven followed by the lid. (You want to minimize evaporation as much as possible.)
- Place in the oven and cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat is extremely tender.
- Place on a serving platter and slice or shred as desired.
- POLENTA: Spray a 2 1/2 to 3-quart oven-safe casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Combine chicken broth or water, half-and-half, polenta and salt and black pepper in the prepared casserole dish and stir well.
- Place in the oven uncovered and bake alongside the roast during the last 40-45 minutes of braising the roast. After approximately 30 minutes, stir, add Gorgonzola and butter and stir again. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
- Serve polenta with pot roast.
MAKE AHEAD: The roast can be prepared 2 days ahead. Reheat in the oven until heated through.
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Baked Polenta Layered with Tomato, Fontina, and Gorgonzola
This polenta gratin looks inviting baked in a large earthenware dish–bring it to the table bubbling and fragrant and serve it family style. For more formal occasions, it is very attractive baked in individual dishes. Both the polenta and the tomato sauce can be made well in advance. Putting the casserole together takes only a short time.
Occasion Casual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Course Main Course
Dietary Consideration Vegetarian
Equipment Baking/gratin Dish, Food Mill
Five Ingredients or Less Yes
Taste and Texture Cheesy, Herby, Rich
- 1½ to 2 pounds meaty tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes , roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 basil leaves or a good pinch dried basil
- 2 branches parsley
- ½ small yellow onion , finely diced
- 1 clove garlic , finely chopped
- Sugar , if necessary
- Salt and pepper
- 1½ cups coarse cornmeal
- 8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
- 5 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
- Fresh herbs: oregano or marjoram , basil, chopped, for garnish
Make a simple tomato sauce. Warm the olive oil with the bay leaf, basil, parsley, onion, and garlic, and cook slowly for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, raise the heat to medium high, and cook until they are quite soft and broken apart, about 15 minutes. Pass them through a food mill then return the sauce to the pan, and simmer until quite thick. If needed, add a pinch or two of sugar to balance the acidity, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. This should make 1½ cups.
While the sauce is cooking, bring 4½ cups water to a boil and add 1½ teaspoons salt. Whisk in the cornmeal in a stream so that lumps don't form, and when it has all been added, switch to a wooden spoon, lower the heat, and stir for 15 minutes. Pour it into a loaf pan or a 9-by-12-inch baking dish, and set it aside to cool. When it is thoroughly cool and firm, turn it out and slice it into pieces about ½ inch thick and about 3 inches long. If a loaf pan was used, cut the pieces again, diagonally.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a gratin dish, and spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom. Arrange the polenta and the slices of Fontina in overlapping layers. Carefully spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the layers in a decorative way, leaving bands of red sauce between the yellow polenta and cheese. Crumble Gorgonzola over the top, pepper generously, and bake the gratin, uncovered, for 25 to 35 minutes. The cheese will melt into the tomato, making a sauce to spoon over the polenta. Garnish with the fresh herbs.
Lidia’s Family Table
When the polenta is fresh and hot, slosh the mold with cold water so it’s damp. Pour in the polenta and level it to form a smooth disk at least 1 ½ inches thick. Chill until solidified, then invert the mold to get out the disk (wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 days if you want).
Heat the oven to 400° when you are ready to make the cake. Slice the disk into three equal round layers (as you would split a cake layer). Place one round on a well-buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet. Dot the surface, lightly or heavily, with bits of butter, using a third of the total, then with half the gorgonzola and a third of the grated Grana Padano.
Place a second polenta layer on the fillings and load it up the same way, using up the gorgonzola. Top with the third polenta round and decorate it with butter and Grana Padano.
Put the sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes-or 45 if the polenta is just out of the fridge- until the top of the cake is sizzling and deep golden and the filling oozes from between the layers. Lift with a wide spatula onto a cake plate. Serve very hot. You might want to bake some halved, cored pears alongside the polenta cake to serve with it.
- 2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ⅔ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 small yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Combine 2 1/2 cups broth and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal and pepper until smooth. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until very thick and no longer grainy, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in Gorgonzola remove the polenta from the heat.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in zucchini and squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften and brown in places, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables stir to coat. Stir in the remaining 1 cup broth and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in basil serve the saute over the polenta.
- 1 cup uncooked instant polenta
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- 7 ounces gorgonzola
Cook your polenta according to package instructions. Once cooked, stir in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the cooked polenta into 4 individual oven-proof serving pots (like Le Creuset mini cocottes) or into a large oven-proof dish. Crumble the gorgonzola all over the top of each pot of polenta and cover with a lid or foil. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the gorgonzola is runny and the polenta is warmed through. Serve immediately.
Polenta Torta with Gorgonzola and Savoy Cabbage (Torta di Polenta, Gorgonzola, e Verze)
Polenta Torta with Gorgonzola and Savoy Cabbage (Torta di Polenta, Gorgonzola, e Verze), is our second recipe chosen from Lidia Bastianich and Tania Bastianich Manuali's new cookbook "Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian". We're hosting a week sharing some of their recipes, and if a week is not enough there will be others to follow, we assure you!
Song of the day: Everybody's got to learn sometime (Indaco dagli Occhi del Cielo) - Zucchero feat. Jenny Bae
Needless to say, we were absolutely thrilled to review Lidia Bastianich's new cookbook, co-written with her daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali, "Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian - 220 Foolproof Recipes That Make Every Meal a Party". Thank you, Appetite Random House for the opportunity.
Italians know how to celebrate, and they always find a reason to do so. Whether it is sharing the table with family, invite some friends over, or host a big, festive gathering, they make sure to be prepped for the occasion. The house will be cleaned and organized, every room of it, the table beautifully set, possibly with the "servizio buono" (best China), the scent of food prepared with love and care with the best ingredients lingering in the air, the host all dressed up, and everything, from the moment you step in, would say "welcome to my home".
When I flipped through Lidia's cookbook, from the pictures and the choice of recipes, I recognized that quintessential Italian way of celebrating, warm and inviting. Quite a few of the recipes talked home to me, some were not usual for my family to make but nonetheless classic dishes from a different part of Italy, while others, were a nice surprise of pretty tasty new ideas.
- Peperonata (Stewed Savory Peppers) (Page 46)
We talked about this recipe in this post and more about the cookbook review.
- Pear and Chocolate Tart (Crostata di Pere e Cioccolata) (Page 344)
- Coffee Panna Cotta (Panna Cotta al Caffe’) (Page 351)
Both dessert recipes are going to be posted at the end of the week.
Today’s Tested Recipe
Polenta Torta with Gorgonzola and Savoy Cabbage (Torta di Polenta, Gorgonzola, e Verze) (Page 194)
I cannot count the many times there was polenta on our table in Italy. My grandparents loved it, my parents felt the same way, so either at home or at a family Sunday gathering at my nonni's, you could easily find a polenta dish.
At my nonni, you would find on the table the big wood board called "spianatoia", the polenta would be distributed all over, the thick flavorful sauce spread on top, together with sausages and pork ribs cooked in the sauce, and finished with a generous dusting of Parmigiano. Everybody would find a spot on the wood board and they would all eat together, making their way into the polenta, neighboring with their fork the other person's spot. And after some time, where silence was king since everybody would be busy eating, the polenta would be gone.
At my parents', my mom and dad would take turns stirring the polenta in the big copper pot, with a big whisk (both specifically used to make polenta), paying attention it didn't stick to the bottom and burn, ruining irremediably the flavor of the polenta. When ready, my father would spread the polenta on each plate, or on individual wood boards bought at a country fair, covering the polenta with the sauce where sausages would be swimming, leaving a thick border around with no sauce and remembering absolutely no sausage for me, just a double grating of Parmigiano.
When my relatives that lived in Veneto, the Region North-East of Italy, would come and visit, we would have polenta "white". My aunt would make her famous "Polenta e Baccalà alla Vicentina", that is Salt Cod with Polenta, a mouthwatering, creamy, flavorful recipe, so different from the polenta with tomato sauce we were used to having.
As soon as I saw Lidia's recipe for this amazing Polenta Torta with Gorgonzola and Savoy Cabbage (Torta di Polenta, Gorgonzola, e Verze) I knew we had to make it. Quite a few were the reasons that drew me to it. First of all, it was beautiful, second, it was polenta, and similar to the one my aunt makes, third, it had gorgonzola, forth, it had a mix of savoy cabbage and potatoes that it is one my dad's feature recipes. Can you imagine all of this together what kind of an incredible dish would create? Well, we know, 'cause we made it!
Polenta Torta with Gorgonzola and Savoy Cabbage is definitely not a 15 or 30-minute meal. But with Lidia's advice and easy-to-follow instructions, you will have no hesitation and it will seem like you've been doing this dish forever. You certainly need to plan to spend some time in the kitchen, and maybe, like we did, start the day before by making the polenta, wash, chop and boil the savoy cabbage and potatoes. That will save you some time and reduce the stress in the kitchen. If you have a partner to share the kitchen, responsibility, joy, and success, like I have in Loreto, that would be even better. The final result will repay you tenfold for the effort that you put into it, and it will show your guests, or simply your family, your love and care for them. And a WOW will escape from their mouths.
With polenta done and resting in a 9-inch cake pan, the savoy cabbage and potatoes sauteed in the pan with e.v.o. oil, garlic and chili flakes (the best "trio" in my opinion), we called it a day and woke up the next morning ready to finish the dish and set it in the oven to cook in time to take pictures before the sun would set (read: life of a food blogger in the Far North). The polenta was fully set, and Loreto did an amazing job slicing it nicely, forming 3 layers. At that point I had a bit of a panic attack since you all know that layered cakes are not my thing, so Loreto (Mr. Calm Cucumber) came to the rescue and we filled the polenta with the cabbage/potato mixture, and the gorgonzola, on each layer, finishing the top with a slather of melted butter and a bountiful grating of Grana Padano. Once the layers were cut and assembled, we knew we were winning this challenge. Aren't you salivating by now? We were, and a few were the handfuls of cabbage/potato or gorgonzola that didn't make it in the Polenta Torta but ended up in our mouth (incredible how such things happen! lol).
As it bakes in the oven the aroma of corn and a mix of cheese, potato and cabbage start to linger in the kitchen. Loreto and I are bent over peeking through the oven door, watching the gorgonzola ooze down the sides, and the Grana Padano start to melt and form that crusty top. "Is it ready yet?" one of my go-to demands, with Loreto always patiently responding "Not yet".
Taking this Polenta Torta out of the oven was a two-person task. Quite heavy and substantial, it required a bit of arm muscle for me to hold it while Loreto was taking the picture.
We could not wait to unleash the springform and have the patience to take the final pictures. Once that was done, our forks were ready and the taste test begins. The polenta is so moist and just melts in your mouth. This is where the sauteed cabbage comes in with that sweet and earthy flavor. The potatoes like velvet on your tongue taking the texture of this dish to new heights. Finally, the gorgonzola mingles in between ingredients making its statement in a harmonious way which holds you in this blissful state. The chili flakes, garlic, olive oil, and butter also play an important role to giving this dish richness, and that top crust with the melted and crispy Grana Padano hands a nice diversity to the creamy texture of the whole. This recipe is the epitome of food love for us, it has comfort, richness and an elegance to it that makes it entice its gazers.
Lidia suggests you can vary the filling, however you wish, and if going for a tomato sauce, save the extra sauce and serve it on the side when slicing the Polenta Torta. As for us, we loved this flavor combination and would definitely make it again. If you are a gorgonzola lover, you will be in heaven as puddles of it meld and combine with the cabbage/potato mixture and moisten the polenta in a mouthful of deliciousness. But if gorgonzola is not your flavor, Lidia, and us with her, suggests to switch it with Taleggio, or Montasio, for a slightly milder version of the Polenta Torta.
Should you have this book on your shelf?
Our second recipe in takes us into a very confident and appreciative yes! This is a great book to have lingering on the kitchen counters. If you like traditional Italian cooking, infused with a bit of American flair, you will truly enjoy this book. From planning a romantic picnic for two to hosting a large formal party, “Lidia’s Celebrate like an Italian” will give you the tools and recipes to wow your guests and bring joy to a festive occasion. The intimate and interactive style, combined with stories, photos, and tidbits, give you a true look and feel of celebration Italian-style!
Song of the day: Everybody's got to learn sometime (Indaco dagli Occhi del Cielo) - Zucchero feat. Jenny Bae
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