My mother in-law said her Mother seved polenta on a small marble table. When set ,red sauce was spooned on top. Then sprinkled with cheese. You were given a fork and you dug in. She would serve hers in an oblong dish though.
Also she would add cooked ground beef or ground sausage on top. The children loved this as toddlers. And they still do.
An excellent food for THANKSGIVING, although I've yet to see it served. Tribal American dish. Grits are a more 'refined" version of corn mush (polenta) I think they remove the germ from the corn before they grind it up for grits.