Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Polenta: Delicious Alternative to Pasta

If you are looking for an alternative to pasta, try preparing some polenta. Polenta is course Italian corn meal and is often served with cheeses and sauces. Carlo likes to prepare one of his favourite polenta dishes with a ring of sausages.

Polenta is not fancy and it is not complicated. It is economical and a good source of fiber. The flavour is subtle and it can be made with your favourite seasonings.

Traditionally, Italian polenta must be stirred -- always in the same direction to maintain perfect texture and prevent lumps -- throughout the boiling process. But Carlo says a double boiler can relieve the need for constant stirring, but the double-boiler cooking process requires about 3 to 4 hours of cooking over a low flame.

Polenta finishes in a dense form, allowing the cook to mold or shape the final presentation. Some cooks like to allow polenta to firm up on a shallow flat pan and use a cookie cutter for an entertaining presentation topped with a pesto or tomato sauce.

Polenta is highly versatile. Once made it keeps for days in the refrigerator. It can be served at room temperature or reheated.

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