Polenta Perfection

A Scottsdale chef's take on the Italian staple
0 Ratings

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.

Mascarpone Polenta with Wild Mushrooms

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

Yield: 4 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes


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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