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Creamy Mascarpone Polenta

What’s the secret to making polenta with a rich, creamy texture? Stir in a dollop of mascarpone cheese. It’s the perfect side dish for our five-spice chicken breasts (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l) chicken broth
  • 2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) Italian polenta
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes 
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) mascarpone cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a 4-quart (4-l) soup pot over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. While stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, add the polenta in a thin, steady stream until incorporated, then continue stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the mixture bubbles occasionally. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the polenta is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the butter a few cubes at a time, then stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheeses. Season the polenta with salt and pepper. Divide the polenta among warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen