What is Polenta?
Polenta is made from coarse stone-ground cornmeal and sometimes called “Italian grits.” Like the Southern American classic grits, polenta is a hearty porridge with a grainy texture. This delicious and straightforward dish is from Northern Italy and is very versatile. It is an excellent foundation for a casserole, fried and served sweet for breakfast or served as a porridge with beans and vegetables or meat and gravy.
Italian Recipe Exchange
This Cheesy Polenta Casserole recipe comes from our adopted Italian family in Perugia, Italy. We hosted two Italian foreign exchange students during their 4th year in high school. The first student was in the 1999 -2000 school year. Four years later, we hosted his younger brother!
It was a remarkable cultural experience, and more importantly, we gained a family in Italy. The educational exchange was very profound for the students, but our family benefited greatly. The oldest son loved grocery shopping with me, and we exchanged many recipes. Their mother was from Brescia, so I gather this recipe was from her family since polenta dishes generally come from the northern part of the country.
Cook polenta until it leaves the sides of the pan
Smooth thickened polenta into a casserole dish
Spoon browned Italian sausage over polenta
Add the tomato layer and spinkle with Parmesan cheese
Add the mozzerella cheese layer
Bake and serve