I love polenta, and we have it often. I love it as a side dish, or grilled or baked. I typically make mine in the oven with gruyere and fried sage, but I was excited to make it the authentic way of slow stirring. I was excited until about half way through the process of standing at a hot stove and stirring FOREVER!
OK, 40-45 minutes, said the recipe. That is a LONG time to stand over a hot bubbling pot! My weak fat arm was tired after 10 minutes! My husband arrived home in time to take over. Perfetto!
After the second ten minutes, I let him sit down with a glass of wine, and went back to my task. THIS must be why I love my oven-baked polenta so much. I was thinking, I won't be doing this again soon! Every time I go to a good copper store in Italy, I lust over the beautiful polenta pots. I can now pass them right by, knowing I won't need one!
At 35 minutes, the polenta looked and tasted done. As Marcella suggests, I poured it into a shallow large bowl, and evened out the top with a spoon to set. I made a salad and removed my braised pork from the oven.
After 10 minutes, I unmolded the dome of polenta onto a round platter.
I LOVE Marcella's idea of scooping out the top of the dome, and using the polenta as a bowl for your meat or stew! I filled mine with braised pork with fennel and figs.
The polenta was delicious and a perfect consistency, but a little salty for us. It is very lovely as a serving bowl, and I can imagine it with a nice lamb stew or filled with sausages! I will let my arm rest before trying this again, and split the stirring with my sous chef in the future.