Recipe by Lori Ross
Cookbook author and writer Paula Wolfert has a recipe for baked, no-stir polenta that is delicious and easy. This cooking method brings out more corn flavor by toasting is as it cooks. And without the traditional stirring and dangerous sputtering from the pot, making polenta becomes easier on the cook. If you make soft polenta, serve it immediately with your favorite tomato, white or cheese sauce. If you make firm polenta, let it cool and slice thickly (like quick bread), then grill or sauté it in butter and serve with your favorite sauce or bruschetta topping. This recipe serves 6.
2 Tbsps butter or oil
2 cups medium-coarse or coarse ground cornmeal or polenta
7-10 cups water (if you want soft polenta use 9-10 cups water; for firm polenta use6-7 cups water)
2 tsps salt
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10-12 inch-wide oven proof saucepan or skillet (I like a cast iron skillet). Mix cornmeal, water, butter/oil and salt until blended. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Stir the polenta with a long fork or spoon, taste, correct the salt and bake 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.
If you want to serve it soft, pour into buttered bowl and top it with your favorite pasta sauce or a creamy gorgonzola sauce. If you want to serve it hard., pour it into a buttered rectangular pan and let it harden.