Easy Baked Polenta
We wanted to skip the endless stirring and simply pop some polenta in the oven and still have it come out creamy and lump-free. Were we kidding ourselves?
Why This Recipe Works
Creamy polenta—basically a porridge of cornmeal and water—is a comforting Italian side dish, but cooking it on the stovetop means up to a half-hour of nonstop stirring. Using the same ratio of cornmeal to water (1:4) and the right kind of polenta (medium-grain polenta or cornmeal), we were able to adapt traditional polenta into a completely hands-off dish. A shallow-sided baking dish sped up the cooking time, and a moderate oven prevented the liquid from evaporating too quickly, which could cause dry pockets. Butter and Parmesan stirred in at the end added richness.