Polenta with Marinara, Ricotta and Basil

Polenta with Marinara, Ricotta and Basil

Sometimes it sucks being an adult. All those things that I knew my parents would discuss when my sister and I weren’t around or when we went to bed. The grown-up things that made them worry, but we (at least I) was completely oblivious to. Budgeting, putting food on the table, making sure we were taken care of and had what we needed. Now that I’m a parent myself, I have an open window into what probably went on while I was zonked out,  dreaming of rainbows and unicorns (don’t judge–I still love both).

Polenta with Marinara, Ricotta and Basil

Without getting into all the specifics or going off on a political rant (which believe me, I’ve done plenty as of late)…Let’s just say that Jay and I are having to rip off the band-aid and take a hard long look at our finances, and will soon have to make one of those adult decisions. One of those that you hope results in the right choice for you and your family, and doesn’t come back to bite you on the arse. So I went for one of the dishes that’s oddly relaxing to make–Polenta. With Marinara, Ricotta and Basil.

Polenta with Marinara, Ricotta and Basil

Because it takes 25-30 minutes to cook and you have to stir it constantly, it’s somewhat therapeutic to make. The rest is easy enough–Heat some marinara, top with some ricotta and basil. You can make this vegan by leaving out the butter in the polenta and leaving off the ricotta.

Yield: 4

Polenta with Marinara, Ricotta and Basil

Polenta with Marinara, Ricotta and Basil
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 3 C water
  • 1 C polenta
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (optional)
  • 2 C marinara sauce
  • 1 C ricotta
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4-6 basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)


Bring the water and salt to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Stream in the polenta, then reduce the heat. Begin stirring with a wooden spoon, being careful as the polenta will bubble and splatter. Continue stirring for 25-30 minutes, until the polenta is thickened. Stir in the the butter, if using.

While the polenta is cooking, warm the marinara sauce in a medium saucepan.

To serve, place about a cup of polenta on a plate. Top with 1/2 C marinara, then 1/4 C ricotta, and basil and Parmesan to taste.

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It was good. The bambino ate 2 helpings himself (granted, they were minus the marinara and ricotta–He had his with just Parmesan and basil). And even Jay liked it, because of all the cheese and the sauce.

I will say, though, that nice as it was to zone out while stirring the polenta, being an adult still sucks. Sometimes, I wish I could disappear into the pages of my old unicorn journal and ride off into the woods!

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3 Replies to “Polenta with Marinara, Ricotta and Basil”

  1. I luv this type of rustic cuisine and every ingredient here is my fav Italian flavors. What a lovely meal! Enjoy your closing paragraph – you’re right, it does suck. My parents made it look so easy to be an adult. Like you, I’d like to return back to my favorite Tolkien books and disappear to Middle Earth. :)

    Have a good weekend!

    • It was so simple, but SO good. Adulthood has its perks, but its pitfalls too. I figure if I’m lucky enough to make it to the age my grandparents were, maybe then I’ll gain the wisdom to realize all these things aren’t really so bad.

      Have a good weekend yourself! :)

  2. Pingback: Polenta with Sausage and Marinara - Tramplingrose

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