Soft Polenta with Mascarpone


I do love a good polenta, however, lots of polenta recipes call for the addition of a very pungent cheese, such as, Gorgonzola.  While I have nothing against a powerful blue cheese, I feel it can detract from the main meal the polenta has been served with.

Enter mascarpone, an Italian sweet cream cheese and one of my all time favorites.  For some reason, it never dawned on me to use mascarpone in polenta, it’s the perfect texture to meld right in with the polenta, butter and Parmesan. 

This flavorful dish will sit beside the main entree without taking over.  It also reheats nicely if you have any leftovers.

Also, this would be a great addition to any upcoming holiday meals you might be having.  Enjoy!

Melt two Tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Slowly whisk in the polenta (about 1 Tablespoon at a time to prevent lumps from forming).  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently until the polenta is thick, about 2 minutes (adjust the consistency with water or stock, if necessary).  Remove from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone, Parmesan and remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter.

Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Soft Polenta with Mascarpone
Adapted from Food Network

Serves six to eight

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Melt two Tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Slowly whisk in the polenta (about 1 Tablespoon at a time to prevent lumps from forming).  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently until the polenta is thick, about 2 minutes (adjust the consistency with water or stock, if necessary).  Remove from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone, Parmesan and remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter.

Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Post a Comment

30 Comments

  1. Wow. This dish looks absolutely yummy! I love how you presented it.

    Reply
  2. nina 2

    Why have not thought about this….I totally agree as much as I like a strong cheese, it does overpower some times.

    Reply
  3. I don’t know why I don’t make more polenta recipes. I’ve had it, I like it, I just never cook it. Will save this recipe and make a point to blend it into a menu next week.

    Reply
  4. I’ve never had polenta…this looks really good.

    Reply
  5. Using a mild cheese like mascarpone is a good idea. I don’t care for the stronger cheeses in this dish.

    Reply
  6. Barbie with a T 6

    Okay, this is a very beautiful presentation of polenta. I have seen it cut in squares, but never served in a form similar to mashed potatoes. I really have not ever eaten polenta before. What sort of entrees go best with polenta? Also, I notice you have not been taking photos of the ingredients in the prepping of your recipes. I miss that part. I usually stack up my ingredients on the countertop that I am going to be using for the next meal. I think it just adds a bit of “decor” to the countertop to set it out. Call me crazy. I know.

    Reply
  7. Promise me you’ll never put the calorie content on these luscious recipes!

    Reply
  8. annbb 8

    Italian grits…and I love them! This looks delicious!

    Reply
  9. elra 9

    This is nice idea Cathy. I always cook it very plain. Now I can make it more delicious by adding mascarpone cheese.

    Reply
  10. June 10

    Love polenta and adding mascarpone is genius! Creamy, yummy, rich, oh I want some NOW.

    Reply
  11. Noble Pig 11

    Barbie-

    Polenta is reminiscent of grits or by translation a corn meal mush.  However, it is really so much more.  It’s a staple food for many Italians and often outshines pasta.  It can be served many ways, as a first course, baked, with stews, or even as a bread substitute.

    I serve it with beef short ribs, roast chicken, pork…anything really.  We love it.
    Reply
  12. OMG! Great minds think alike! I did something quite similar to this once because I, like you, thought mascarpone was the perfect mix-in for polenta. I caramelized the onions and added pancetta too and called it “heart attack polenta”. 😀

    Reply
  13. dawn 13

    I think I love polenta more than bread and with mascarpone, I can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  14. Bob 14

    Holy crap, that must be so good!

    Reply
  15. I’m with Mental P Mama…no caloric content. *lol*

    I’m going to try this. I bet it would go wonderfully with the bbq wings I’m making on Thursday night!

    Reply
  16. Misty 16

    Oh, how I love mascarpone! I’ll definitely give this a try next time I make polenta.

    Reply
  17. Marjie 17

    I have never had polenta, and really didn’t know what it was until Paula wrote about it. What a sheltered life, huh? Sounds good with the sweet cheese. I would think a strong cheese would overpower cornmeal.

    Reply
  18. Biz 18

    I’ve done the obvious Parmesan cheese, but never thought of marscapone! Genius!

    Reply
  19. Lena in VT 19

    I am making this tonight with roasted garlic chicken…thank you!

    Reply
  20. grace 20

    i agree–let nothing overshadow the polenta! this is a nifty side dish, cathy, and one that i’d like very much!

    Reply
  21. I love seeing lowly cornmeal gone fancy with mascarpone. Polenta is such a great vessel for all sorts of things. Gorgeous and scrumptious as usual Cathy.

    Reply
  22. megan 22

    I love polenta and I love mascarpone! Looks like a match made in heaven.

    Reply
  23. Katrina 23

    I haven’t had polenta much in my time, but this looks good. Mascarpone sounds great with it.

    Reply
  24. Lydia 24

    I like to make my polenta even softer than yours, so it slithers around on the plate underneath some wonderful dish with a sauce (short ribs? marinara?). This looks delicious and reminds me that it’s been a while since I made polenta.

    Reply
  25. Melynda 25

    Wow, this sure looks good!

    Reply
  26. Lisa 26

    I love polenta but never thought to pair it with mascarpone. Lovely idea! And your photo makes it extremely appealing.

    Reply
  27. What a great combination. I never would dream that up. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  28. Paula 28

    Oh yum, yum, yum! I make polenta all the time, but not with Marscarpone! That sounds and looks amazing. Hmmm … I feel the need to make polenta! :-)

    Reply
  29. Patty 29

    Hi! I love your blog and it has inspired me to start my own! I would love it if you could check it out (:
    link to thepamperedpig.blogspot.com

    Reply
  30. Jen 30

    My aunt introduced me to this in Lake Placid on a trip. She served it with her homemade chili. I loved it. I love marscarpone cheese so much but thought I hated polenta. Not any more! I have to try this at home now.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting