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Polenta with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

Serves 4

Italian polenta, which is made from yellow cornmeal, is the perfect side dish to accompany many entrees. It is quick, easy, and can be served as a side dish in place of the usual potatoes, rice or pasta. The recipe can be made in any amount needed, checking the package directions for amount of liquid to cornmeal, and the seasonings altered to complement the main dish. Leftovers make delicious fried polenta, as in the similar and related recipes.


Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until softened, about 1 minute; do not brown. Add water, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal, being certain to break up any lumps that might form. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring often, until thick and creamy, adding more water if too thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately, topped with sauce from the entree, if desired.

Notes: This recipe can be made with quick-cooking polenta. Check the package for cooking directions.