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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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  1. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December 2001

Reviews (2)

  • 20 Sep, 2009

    You need to use dry polenta, it looks like cornmeal.

  • 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?