- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 x 400 grams tins whole tomatoes San Marzano, if you can get them
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 1 clove garlic sliced
- 1/2 bunch basil picked
- 1 teaspoon dry chilli flakes
- 1 litre water, milk, or chicken stock
- 100 grams coarse polenta
- 210 grams grated parmesan
- 100 grams butter
- In a medium sized pot or pan warm the olive oil over a medium low flame or heat, add garlic, onion and a good pinch of salt, gently fry for around 8-10 minutes.
- Once the garlic and onions are soft and sweet turn the heat up to get them frying, throw in the basil, it will pop and spit so just be warned.
- Give a stir and once the basil has wilted (about 30seconds) add the chilli and the tomatoes.
- It will come to a boil quite quickly, now once it does turn the heat down and let it simmer away for about 17-21 minutes, it should thicken slightly but still have a nice sweetness and freshness.
- Check seasoning and adjust if need be, turn off and set aside.
- In a saucepan bring your desired liquid to a rapid boil, rain in polenta constantly whisking to prevent lumps allowing it to come together and to a boil. As soon as it does we need to turn it down as low as possible (using a spacer if need be).
- Now we need to take our time, letting the polenta slowly and ever so gently tick away, even less than a simmer, just a bubble every now and again, long and slow giving a mix once in a while to prevent it catching on the bottom of the pot.
- After about 40 minutes your polenta will have thickened considerably, its grain will have softened but still have wonderful texture.
- We now vigorously whisk in the butter and cheese, make it become silkier and more luxurious, creamier and damn tasty!
- Check for salt and add it if needed.
- *cooking polenta should be like making love to a beautiful woman, you need to take your time, be gentle and vigorous at the right moments.
- Spoon about 1/2 a cup into bowls, sprinkle some cheese and a spoon of the warm tomato sugo a little more cheese and repeat.
- It should resemble a raspberry ripple, with its tomato squiggles, top with more grated cheese, either Parmesan or ricotta salata (firm salted ricotta) for something different.
- We'd love to hear your comments on this polenta recipe below!