You will find recipes for cooking “from scratch” polenta in almost any Italian cookery book. Most recommend stirring the cornmeal mixture “frequently” for 30-plus minutes. Here is a short-cut version that - with the addition of cheese - is an easy and delicious substitute. The polenta’s package may specify “5-minute” or “instant” on the label. (Check the directions on the package of your particular brand for their suggested water to polenta ratio and adjust this recipe accordingly.)
2 3/4 cups spring water
2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
3 tbsp. (more or less) freshly grated imported Parmigiano Reggiano
Use the 3.5 Qt. Buffet Casserole on the range top for this. Add the water to the pan and bring it almost to a boil.
Gradually add the polenta to the pan stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. When all the grains are added reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick, smooth and mounds easily. (If you detect any lumps, mash them with the tines of a heavy fork.) This will take about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the cheese. Serve at once to 4 or 5 diners.