Basic Polenta

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Basic Polenta
cookbook: Lidia's Favorite Recipes
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Corn is a food from the New World—it only came to Italy after the discovery of the Americas. But you could never tell the people from the region of Friuli-Venezia–Giulia, the region I hail from, that polenta is not Friulian. So much so that the Friulianos are called polentoni, polenta eaters, much like the Tuscans are called mangia fagioli, beans eaters. Corn is a plant that yields a lot of fruit in relation to the land and attention it needs, and with hunger always prevalent in that area of Italy, corn became a staple in feeding the people and the animals. Soon there were daily cauldrons of polenta cooking in the fogolars, the open hearths of Friuli.


8 cups water, or as needed
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon coarse salt, or as needed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups coarse yellow corn meal


Lidia's Favorite Recipes

From one of the most popular cookbook author/chefs at work today: her most accessible—and affordable—cookbook to date, a gathering of the recipes that have become her go-to meals: the best, the most beloved, the most delicious dishes in her repertoire. Lidia Bastianich gives us a fresh look at her favorite dishes, the ones that have made it to the table time and time again: more than 100 of her signature recipes, revised to be more concise and clear, but just as soul-satisfying as ever. From Baked Clams Oreganata, Marinated Winter Squash, and Spaghetti with Quick Garlic Tomato Sauce to Braised Beef Rolls, Shrimp Scampi, and Chocolate Bread Parfait, each recipe includes new information about the affordability, seasonality, and nutritional value of the ingredients. Beautifully illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, Lidia's Favorite Recipes will give both new cooks and longtime fans something delicious to celebrate.

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