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What’s the secret to making polenta? | Kitchen aide

Looking for a substitute for mash or pasta? Turn to cornmeal, an Italian store-cupboard essential. Here’s how …

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I want to serve polenta as an alternative to mash and pasta, but every time I make it, it resembles (and tastes like) wet cement. What’s the secret?
Zoe, Abergavenny

“A lot of polenta you buy in the shops tends to be instant, which is the worst thing in the world,” says chef Theo Randall, author of the upcoming The Italian Deli Cookbook (out in March). Yes, the stuff cooks in minutes, but the consistency is hard to get right. “You put it in hot water and think it’s all wet and runny, then all of a sudden it sets like rubber.”

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