Breakfast Polenta with Mascarpone and Maple Syrup  Recipe
Breakfast Polenta with Mascarpone and Maple Syrup

By Diane Rossen Worthington

A Sweet Polenta Surprise for Breakfast

The first time I tasted a warm bowl of polenta was on a cold summer day at a restaurant in an Italian mountain village. I was seated at a table with a group of locals and followed their lead by ordering the thick cornmeal porridge. We enjoyed this creamy, soul-satisfying dish with a generous sprinkling of dried goat's milk cheese for a lunch entree.

After that memorable meal, I began experimenting with different polenta combinations and came up with the unusual recipe that follows. You might think that corn meal with Parmesan cheese and maple syrup is an odd pairing. It may be unusual but the flavor is awesome. I'll use any excuse to make this homey hot cereal for breakfast.

Traditional polenta takes at least 30 minutes of cooking in a copper pot over low heat with continual stirring. Fortunately, an imported instant (precooked) polenta with a silkier texture has become available nationwide. This fine-grained polenta that cooks in just a few minutes yields an excellent flavor as well as texture

Like Cream of Wheat, instant polenta has a slightly rough texture that makes it an ideal full-bodied cereal. The topping of the rich mascarpone cheese and the sweet maple syrup nicely complement the Parmesan cheese flavored polenta. Serve this with crisp bacon or sausages for a hearty start to your day.

Breakfast Polenta with Mascarpone & Maple Syrup Recipe

Serves 4.

3 cups milk

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup instant polenta


1/4 cup mascarpone

1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. When the liquid is boiling add the polenta and stir continually with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened. Reduce the heat to medium-low so that the mixture will not thicken before the polenta is cooked through. Add the Parmesan cheese and blend well.

2. Spoon into cereal bowls and top with mascarpone and maple syrup. Serve immediately.


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