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X Italian Rice and Polenta Dishes
Polenta (with corn meal, water and salt)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Assunta

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For polenta
1 1/2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups corn meal, finely ground

For garnish
Tomato sauce


o Boil water.

o Add salt.

o Slowly add the corn meal into the water, stirring it constantly to keep the resulting mixture smooth.

o Reduce the heat to a minimum and simmer for about 20 minutes, regularly stirring the mixture to keep it smooth and free of lumps.

o Serve immediately with tomato sauce or spread the mixture out in a greased pan, flatten it out so that it's about 1 1/2 inches high, and then bake in a 350 F degree oven for about half an hour. Serve the baked "corn pizza" with tomato sauce, beans and/or sausage.


Assunta notes that this is one of the easiest way of preparing polenta. Other family members from Casacalenda do jazz up the recipe, especially when they are making corn pizza. Many family members use 1/2 finely ground corn meal and 1/2 coarsely ground corn meal -- they swear this is a much better combination than just using finely ground corn meal with water and salt. Recipes for corn pizza also vary, some in her family add wheat flour, others do not [a variety of recipes can be found on this website see "Pizza di Randinie, Pizza con le foglie etc.] but Assunta finds that this is the fastest way to go about doing it.... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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