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Creamy Polenta with Bacon and Sage


Water or stock can be substituted for any or all of the milk. The more milk you use, the creamier the polenta will be.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: LISA HUBBARD

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2001


  • 2 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves, plus more whole leaves for garnish
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons quick-cooking polenta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)


  1. Place a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the bacon, and cook until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon from saucepan; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Set aside.

  2. Add chopped sage to saucepan, and cook in the bacon fat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add milk, and bring to a boil.

  3. Add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly until it is smooth and creamy, about 6 minutes. Whisk in the butter, and season with the salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, and crumble the reserved bacon on top. Heat the olive oil, in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the whole sage leaves, and fry until crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove from the skillet, and scatter over the polenta.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Katethechemist
    20 SEP, 2009
    You need to use dry polenta, it looks like cornmeal.
  • MlleGena
    29 JUL, 2008
    I brought polenta in a sausage-like package. This recipe just did not thicken. I whisked the milk and polenta for over 20 minutes. Maybe the instructions are missing something?