Perfectly Easy Polenta

Polenta is a fantastic weeknight dinner. Just start with a simple slurry of cornmeal and water. Once it's prepared, you can use it as a creamy, delicious bed for almost anything you have on hand -- from sausage and steak to saut?ed veggies. To my mind it's the perfect alternative to mashed potatoes or pasta because whole-grain cornmeal happens to be good for you too.

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Polenta with Sweet Italian Sausage

Peter Ardito

Polenta with Sweet Italian Sausage

This hearty creamy corn dish paired with savory sausage is perfect for a chilly night.

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Polenta with Mushrooms

Peter Ardito

Polenta with Mushrooms

Using a combination of different mushrooms gives this vegetarian dish layers of flavor.

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Polenta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Peter Ardito

Polenta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Summer squash or zucchini saut?ed with spinach makes a delicious vegetarian topping that's heartier than a sauce.

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Polenta With Chicken Cutlets

Peter Ardito

Polenta With Chicken Cutlets

Chicken and corn is a terrific one-bowl dinner combination.

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Polenta Topped with Shrimp

Peter Ardito

Polenta Topped with Shrimp

An Italian-style seafood dish that your kids will love.

Originally published in the October 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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