The Reason Gordon Ramsay Loves Serving Polenta At Dinner Parties

Are you a fan of polenta? It seems like this mushy cornmeal porridge is not that popular in the U.S., although it's often eaten in Italian-American communities. Polenta originated in Northern Italy as a humble and inexpensive food for peasants (per DeLallo). It was enough just to mix it with water and broth and cook it slowly while continuously stirring. Of course, the practice remained unchanged, so polenta is nowadays cooked in the exact same way. 

In Northern Italy, people prefer polenta and rice, unlike their pasta and bread-loving neighbors living in Central and Southern Italy. According to La Cucina Italiana, Northern Italians love polenta so much that they're often called polentoni, which translates to "polenta eaters." And anyone who wants to respect tradition will make polenta in a big copper pan called a paiolo and then vigorously stir it to perfection with a long wooden spoon called a tarai. 

But polenta is not always yellow — in the Valtellina Valley, there's a dish called polenta taragna made with a mixture of black flour polenta made from buckwheat and yellow corn flour. What's best is that polenta taragna is loaded with butter and cheese such as Fontina, Bitto, or Taleggio, per Appetibilis. Due to the fact that it's so tasty and versatile, it's no surprise that polenta is also often made by chefs in upscale restaurants. And there is one famous celebrity chef who's a big fan of polenta.

Gordon Ramsay says polenta is great for dinner parties

Yes, we know that Gordon Ramsay once notoriously declared that Greek cuisine is better than Italian, per Greek Reporter. Italians would probably call it a sacrilege. However, everyone's entitled to their opinion, and chef Ramsay certainly loves Italian cuisine. For example, he says that pasta is "quick, delicious, classic, and simple," and we can only agree (via Gordon Ramsay). 

But there's more to Italy than pasta. It seems like Ramsay is also a big fan of the Northern Italian staple food, polenta. On his YouTube channel, Ramsay posted a video called "Mastering The Oven," in which he makes food for a party with friends and loved ones. One dish he made is griddled polenta with roasted tomatoes and goat's curd, which sounds incredibly delicious. Ramsay cooked the polenta in water with salt, pepper, butter, and parmesan, and then it was poured into a baking tray to set. 

The polenta was griddled and topped with roasted tomatoes and goat's curd for a fancy touch, and Ramsay said, "it's great when you're planning a big dinner party." The chef loves polenta because it could be made one or two days in advance, saving you that precious time in the process. And if you want to cook polenta and make the most of it, MasterClass suggests adding butter, cheese, and lots of salt and black pepper. For even tastier results, try cooking the polenta in chicken broth instead of water.