Polenta Quattro Formaggi with Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Puree
There are many ways to make polenta…but really only one way in terms of Northern Italian grandmas: with water and salt. What accompanies the polenta (like this sun dried tomato purée), is what gives the polenta its character. ANYTHING with four cheeses will excite the senses. This is a simple, gluten-free way to go. Do your best, by stirring often, to keep lumps out of your polenta. In northern Italy, lumps are a deal breaker. My guess is that some marriages have ended because of lumpy polenta.
Ingredients for the polenta
*Note: there are many ways to make polenta…but really only one way in terms of Northern Italian grandmas: with water and salt. What accompanies the polenta (like this sun dried tomato purée), is what gives the polenta its character.
- 1 cup coarse polenta (course corn meal…we recommend Golden Pheasant or Bob’s Red Mill brands. If using instant polenta, follow the directions on the package).
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
Ingredients for the sauce
- 1 8.5 oz jar Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes julienne cut with extra virgin olive oil
- 8 basil leaves
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Directions for the polenta
- *Please be careful. Making polenta can be dangerous. It gets very hot!
- On a high flame in a heavy bottom pot, salt the water and bring it to a boil.
- Slowly whisk in the polenta, turn the flame to medium and continue whisking constantly for 1 full minute.
- Turn the flame to medium-low and continue whisking 1 more minute.
- Turn the flame to low and whisk 1 more minute.
- Turn the flame to very low and whisk until the polenta is amalgamated and just barely bubbling.
- Let cook 45 minutes (you can whisk every once in a while to get the film that forms on top back into the polenta).
Directions for the sauce
- Place all of the ingredients, including the oil in the jar with the sun dried tomatoes, into a food processor and puree to fine.
- Ingredients for assembly and presentation
- ¼ cup Bella Sun Luci Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2-3 ounces (or more) each of grated parmesan, ricotta, white cheddar and gorgonzola (or any 4 of your favorite cheeses)
- Whole basil leaves for garnish
Directions for assembly and presentation
- Line each glass (or ramekin) with a thin layer of the olive oil.
- Fill glass ramekins ¾-4/5 full of the polenta.
- Top with a thick layer of the purée.
- When the polenta is room temperature or just warm, turn each ramekin upside down.
- Top with/scatter the cheeses and basil leaves.