An il Fustino recipe

For more recipes visit

Works great with just plain old cornmeal. Adding a pinch of baking soda helps soften the cornmeal while it cooks and reduces cooking time.

Serves: 4



2 tablespoons, il Fustino Extra Virgin olive oil
3/4 cup, red onion - finely chopped
2 cloves, garlic - finely chopped
1 quart, chicken or vegetable Stock - divided
1 cup, polenta or coarse ground corn meal
5 tablespoons, unsalted butter (divided)
1 pinch, baking soda
1 teaspoon, kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon, freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces, Parmesan cheese - grated
2 tablespoons, il Fustino 25-year-old balsamic vinegar - optional


  1. In a large oven-safe saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.
  2. Blend the corn meal with one cup of the chicken stock. Add a pinch of baking soda.
  3. Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken or vegetable stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal and stock mixture while continually whisking. Once you have added all the cornmeal, cover the pot. You may place it in a 350 degree preheated oven, or reduce the heat to low and cook over the burner. In either case, you must stir it every few minutes or so. After about 30 to 40 minutes, it will become creamy.
  4. Remove from the oven or burner and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.
  5. For a treat, serve drizzled with a small amount of balsamic vinegar.

Cooking in the oven is the easiest way to prepare this; you only need to stir it every 10 minutes. But cooking on the stovetop causes a bit of the polenta at the bottom of the pan to brown or even burn a bit, which adds a distinctive smoky flavor to the dish. You must stir the stovetop version fairly frequently.