Polenta Perfection

A Scottsdale chef's take on the Italian staple

Chef Peter DeRuvo knows that the key to authentic Italian polenta lies in high-quality ground corn and classic technique. At his modern Italian restaurant, Cuoco Pazzo, the Scottsdale chef proves that ingredients and method matter. DeRuvo enhances his slow-cooked polenta with creamy mascarpone, sweet corn and a scattering of fresh herbs. On top, a pile of wild mushrooms and A drizzle of aromatic white-truffle oil punctuate the polenta's smooth texture and demure flavor.

Recipe adapted from Peter DeRuvo, Cuoco Pazzo, Scottsdale, AZ

Mascarpone Polenta With Wild Mushrooms
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Chef Peter DeRuvo knows that the key to authentic Italian polenta lies in high quality ground corn and classic technique.
  • 1½ cups polenta or ground corn
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone
  • Kosher salt
  • White pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups thinly sliced mixed mushrooms (such as chanterelles, cremini, shiitake, beech and oyster)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • ½ tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • ½ tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • White truffle oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  1. In a large saucepot, bring 5 cups of salted water to a boil. Slowly add the polenta and whisk constantly until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the butter, corn and mascarpone. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until they soften slightly, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until translucent. Season with salt.
  3. Stir the herbs into the polenta and spread the polenta onto a serving platter. Spoon the mushrooms onto the center of the polenta and drizzle lightly with truffle oil. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.
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