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.