The 2 Easy Ingredient Additions For Rich Breakfast Polenta

Polenta for breakfast might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a morning meal, but the reality is that the Italian dish is incredibly versatile. Since polenta is basically just boiled cornmeal, it lends itself as wonderfully to savory preparations as it does sweet. So, rather than use polenta as a base for stewed meats or baked into salty chips, why not do as the northern Italians and make a delicately sweet and creamy breakfast porridge?

In regions like Lombardy where cornmeal makes frequent appearances on the dinner table, it isn't unusual for polenta to make its way into the lineup of breakfast or even snack options, such as the case with polenta e latte. Otherwise known as polenta and milk, simplicity meets comfort in this easy to make, and equally easy to enjoy, recipe. 

While it can be made a few different ways, aside from polenta, the two ingredients that give this nostalgic dish its decadent and slightly sweet deliciousness are milk and sugar. For the best results, opt for full-fat whole milk and real sugar rather than ingredients such as skim milk or artificial sweetener. Relying on high-quality ingredients will guarantee a luxurious texture and pronounced flavor every time.

Using milk and sugar to elevate polenta

While you could simply boil polenta with milk and sugar like a breakfast porridge, many Italians instead opt to use leftover polenta that's since solidified to craft a cereal-style dish. All you need to do is cut cold polenta into sizable cubes and then add them to a bowl and cover with warmed milk that's been sweetened with sugar. Alternatively, you can even brûlée polenta chunks with sugar and serve with cold milk.  The only thing to remember is that if you're using leftover cornmeal, it should be made with either water or milk. Polenta boiled with stock will impart an unpleasantly meaty edge, which is less than ideal.

Once you've assembled the meal, you enjoy it as is, but should you want to take your polenta bowl to the next level, you can also experiment with toppings. Add a pop of color with roasted stone fruit, provide texture by sprinkling crumbled amaretti cookies over the top, or amplify richness with a dollop of whipped cream.