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Wisconsin Fontina Polenta

March 4th, 2013

by Heidi of FoodieCrush

Wisconsin Cheese Fontina Polenta Recipe

I didn’t grow up in the South. And I certainly don’t hail from Rome or even Brazil, where this creamy corn side dish is found on many a dining table.

Polenta has a history steeped in traditional cooking for many countries and regions. I often classify it as an Italian dish, but when I mention polenta, my best friend automatically thinks of the Southern grits variety of her youth.

But don’t try to pigeonhole polenta, my friend! It’s a worldwide affair – from Mexico, where they love their creamed maize both in a bowl and also as a drink, to Cuba, where creamy corn lovers linger over a sweet dessert called majarete, and even to Austria, where it’s served for breakfast with café au lait poured on top. Now that I could get excited over.

But for me, I find myself coasting back to my favorite incarnation, Italian style. Traditionally made with my favorite salty Parmesan cheese, I kick up the creamy factor by adding in a meltable Wisconsin Fontina. Just because I can.

Ladling the smooth, cheesy mass into a shallow bowl, cuddling up to mellow marinara and then topping it all with a few tender leaves of fresh basil – only to be showered in a sprinkle of even more fresh Wisconsin Parmesan – makes me blush with happiness and takes me anywhere in the world I dream to go. See my recipe video for this savory dish on the Wisconsin Cheese Vimeo Page.


Wisconsin Fontina Polenta
by Heidi of FoodieCrush
Serves 4Polenta
2 cups water
2 cups cream
1 cup cornmeal or polenta
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Wisconsin Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Wisconsin Fontina cheese
2 tablespoons butter

16 ounces marinara sauce, for serving
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse the kamut.

16 ounces marinara sauce, for serving
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Bring water and cream to a boil in a large saucepan.

Add cornmeal or polenta, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring often.

Whisk in kosher salt and pepper. Add grated cheeses, whisking until cheese melts, then add butter and stir in until combined. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve with prepared marinara sauce and extra grated Parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil as garnish.

  1. It would be interesting to do the math on the caloric and fat content of a serving of this. I love each and every ingredient but would happily and healthfully reduce the cream, butter, and cheeses by at least half and add 1.5 cups water at the start. I grow, grind and cook a lot of polenta. If the goal is to promote cheese, double the polenta, water and seasonings in this recipe, invite some friends over and feed a crowd. They’ll love it!

  2. It’s a fairly cold day here in Philly and this is looking just great. I think you’ve made me want some creamy polenta tonight. Thank you for the inspiration.

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