Polenta is generally used in Northern Italy as a substitute for bread. It is un-molded from the pot directly onto a wooden board in the shape of a semi sphere; then, when cold, it is sliced with a string.
- 4 cups Water 1/2 milk, 1/2 water could be used for a richer taste
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1½ cups yellow Polenta
- In a medium cast-iron saucepan or other heavy pot, bring all ingredients except the cormeal to simmer over medium heat.
- Very slowly, begin to sift the cornmeal into the pan through the fingers of one hand, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk. Gradually sift all the meal into the pan, continue to stir and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Continue to stir constantly until the polenta is smooth and thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan as it is stirred, about 30 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf, pour the polenta into a serving bowl or onto a wooden board, and allow it to rest 10 minutes.
- To serve from the bowl, dip a large spoon into a hot water and scoop the polenta onto individual dishes, dipping the spoon in the water between scoops.
- To serve from the board, cut the polenta into segments with a thin, taut string or a knife and transfer to plates with spatula or cake server.