Polenta e Porri (Polenta with Leeks)

Polenta e Porri (Polenta with Leeks)

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  • 6 cups water or stock
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large or 8 medium leeks, white part only, washed and cut into thin strips
  • 5 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into cubes
  • Freshly ground pepper


Bring water or stock to boil. Add salt and whisk in polenta in a fine stream while stirring. Turn down the heat and cook polenta, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for about 20 minutes, or until polenta is very soft.

Melt butter in a large frying pan over moderate heat. Add leeks, cover and braise gently, stirring from time to time, until leeks are soft. Add Fontina cubes, stir a few times and remove from the heat, keeping warm.

Spoon polenta onto individual plates in the form of a nest. Spoon leek and Fontina mixture into the centers. Sprinkle with pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Special notes:

If using instant polenta: Bring 5 cups water to a boil. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and whisk in 1 2/3 cups instant polenta (in packages or from bulk foods) in a fine stream while stirring. Turn the heat down to low and cook the polenta, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until polenta is very soft. Do this step after you cook the leeks.

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