Guide to cooking with polenta

Thanks to our obsession with the dishes and ingredients of Italy, polenta is seeing an increase in popularity throughout Australia. Made of ground cornmeal, polenta is as easy to prepare as it is delicious, taking as little as ten minutes to get instant varieties from the packet to the table. Simply bring your chosen liquid (stock, milk, water or a combination of any of the three all work well) to a simmer, add the polenta and stir until thick, creamy and smooth. Then season and add butter, parmesan, chilli flakes, finely chopped chives, freshly shaved truffle of any other favourite flavours.

A ratio of one cup of polenta to four cups of liquid for hard-set polenta, or five cups for soft, is considered perfect.

Choose instant polenta for a quick, delicious result, or tend slowly to a pot of traditional polenta for a more refined outcome.

Just as high as flavour and convenience on polenta’s list of virtues is its almost limitless flexibility. While we love it served as a mash-like side dish for ragu or slow-cooked meat braises, it also solidifies into a rich, savoury cake that can be easily sliced into squares and grilled, or cut into finger-lengths and fried into polenta chips.

Polenta is also a valuable ingredient in sweet baking, adding structure, flavour, colour and texture to flourless cakes, particularly those taking advantage of in-season citrus.

Use polenta as a breadcrumb replacement when crumbing fish or chicken, or as the key ingredient in cornbread.

Whatever application you’ve got in mind, The Essential Ingredient has the perfect polenta for your purposes, including:

The Essential Ingredient Truffle Polenta
Produced with the finest Italian polenta and dried Italian truffles, this instant truffle polenta is the quickest, easiest way to cook a restaurant-quality side dish at a moment’s notice. Superb with slow-cooked beef or chilled in a baking tray, then sliced and fried into truffle polenta chips.

La Grande Ruota Traditional Yellow Polenta
The most traditional polenta variety, this Northern Italian classic is cooked slowly over a low heat and yields a silky, smooth result.

La Grande Ruota Traditional White Polenta
Made from the finest white corn from large and fertile plains in the Po Valley, this is one of the most traditional dishes of northern Italy.

La Grande Ruota Traditional Instant Yellow Polenta
Made from quality corn, this authentic Italian polenta cooks in simmering water, stock or milk in under five minutes. Perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes.

La Grande Ruota Traditional Instant White Polenta
This instant polenta from La Grande Ruota has all the qualities of their traditional polentas but can be ready in just 3 minutes. Slightly more subtle in flavour than yellow polenta, white polenta is suitable for sweet and savoury dishes alike.

La Grande Ruota Instant Buckwheat Polenta
Known as ‘taragna‘, this polenta is a mixture of cornmeal and buckwheat flour originating from Lombardia in Italy’s Alpine region. Ready in 5 minutes, the buckwheat flour in this instant polenta gives it an appealing wholegrain texture. Delicious served hot with butter, garlic and sage, a blue cheese and cream sauce, or with pork sausages and mushrooms

Explore our polenta range at your nearest The Essential Ingredient store, or buy online for delivery to anywhere in Australia. 

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