Polenta, a simple porridge made from cornmeal, was the staple food of northern Italian peasants. Traditionally it is prepared over an open fire in a copper caldron. It took close to an hour to cook and required almost constant stirring. I have neither a fireplace nor a copper caldron, much less the patience for the constant stirring. Luckily, Marcella Hazan’s no stir method can be easily adapted for the Sun Oven. Now, with minimal effort, I can enjoy it whenever the sun is shining.

Sun Oven Polenta with Gorgonzola Cheese

(adapted from Marcella Hazan’s ‘No Stir Polenta’)


7 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 2/3 cups polenta (yellow cornmeal)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces soft Gorgonzola cheese

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Bring the water to boil in a dark, light-weight, lidded pot. Add the salt. Add the polenta in a very thin stream, keeping the water boiling and stirring with a whisk the entire time. When you have put in all the polenta, stir with a long-handled wooden spoon for 2 minutes, cover the pot and place in Sun Oven. Cook until the water has been absorbed, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir in the butter, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, parsley and pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8.

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