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Creamy polenta

Creamy polenta

This classic Italian dish is super indulgent and heavenly in the winter months. It works just as well as a bed for mushroom ragu or slow cooked beef stew as it does alongside a braai with some chunky homemade tomato sauce. And it just happens to be gluten free. Any leftovers can be cut into slabs and pan fried for brekkie. Yum! 

Serves 4


  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 2 cups full cream milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tub crème fraiche (approx. 125g)
  • 100g grated hard cheese (parmesan, grana padano or well aged cheddar)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter


  1. Bring the milk and water to the boil with the salt. Add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking as you go.
  2. As soon as the polenta becomes thick (usually a minute or so) swap the whisk out for a wooden spoon and turn the heat down to low. Stir constantly for five minutes. You can put the lid on and let it cook slowly while you get other things done but you need to come back and stir as often as possible – at least every five minutes. The more you stir the creamier it will be.
  3. After 20 minutes the polenta should be smooth and creamy – you may need to add some more liquid at this point if it is too thick or stodgy. If it is still quite granular continue to stir constantly for five more minutes or so.
  4. Just before serving, stir through the crème fraiche, butter and cheese. The polenta will firm up quite quickly so for a creamy result at the table, serve immediately. If your timelines don’t work out, just pour it into a baking dish and rewarm later to serve in slices, as you would a potato bake.

Happy days!

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