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Parmesan-Ricotta Polenta


Parmesan-Ricotta Polenta
Jessica Harlan

Creamy ricotta cheese adds luxurious richness to polenta, without a lot of fat, while parmesan cheese gives it depth and complexity. The best pan for making polenta is a Saucier, which has sloped sides and a rounded base, making it easy for a whisk or spoon to stir thoroughly. It is a wonderful complement to a saucy braised dish like Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs or crisp-skinned roast chicken. Leftovers can be made into pan-fried polenta cakes.

Special Cooking Equipment Needed: Saucier or saucepan, whisk, chef’s knife, cutting board, cheese grater

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup water, more as needed
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup lowfat ricotta cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons whole basil leaves


  1. In a saucier pan or saucepan, combine the water and milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. When it simmers, sprinkle the polenta into the pot, stirring with a whisk. Add a pinch of salt and continue simmering over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a whisk. Cook for about 20 minutes, until polenta does not have a gritty mouthfeel when tasted. Stir in 1/4 cup ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the cheese is melted.

  2. While the polenta is cooking, chiffonade the basil leaves: stack the leaves and roll tightly into a cigar shape. Use a knife to cut through the roll crosswise to make thin shreds of basil. Set aside.

  3. To serve, spoon a portion of polenta (about 1/2 cup) onto a plate. Top with a dollop of about 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese and sprinkle with some of the basil chiffonade. Serve immediately.

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