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Polenta with taleggio cheese: discover the recipe for this variant loved in Lombardy

polenta con taleggio
Table of Contents

Polenta with taleggio cheese: the history

The history of polenta in Lombardy is as old as the region itself. This staple food, made of corn flour slowly cooked in water or broth, has roots that are lost in the mists of time, becoming a symbol of Lombardy’s culinary identity.

Originally, polenta was known as the poor man’s food, cheap and nutritious, capable of satiating the appetite of peasant families. With the introduction of corn from the Americas in the 16th century, polenta took on a central role in the diet of the Lombards.

Over time, polenta has gone beyond the boundaries of poor cuisine, earning a place of honor even on noble tables, thanks to its versatility and ability to accompany a variety of condiments, from fish to cheeses, such as taleggio.

In particular, taleggio, with its creaminess and strong flavor, has created a perfect match with the softness of polenta, giving life to a dish that is now celebrated throughout the region for its unique flavor and its ability to represent the Lombard tradition.

Polenta with taleggio cheese is not just a dish, but a real journey through the history and culture of one of the richest and most productive regions of Italy.

What is Taleggio?

Taleggio is an Italian cheese with a rich history and a distinctive flavor that mirrors Lombardy’s cheesemaking tradition. Classified as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), Taleggio is produced following traditional methods that guarantee its quality and authenticity.

Characterized by a thin and washed rind, Taleggio has a soft and uniform paste , with a color that varies from white to straw-yellow. Its flavor is full, slightly acidic, with notes of fruit and an aftertaste that can vary from sweet to more robust depending on the seasoning.

The production of Taleggio takes place mainly in the Lombard valleys, but also in some areas of Piedmont and Veneto. The milk used comes from locally raised cows, which gives the cheese those nuances of flavor that reflect the terroir of the region.

After the milk coagulates, the curd is cut, put into moulds and left to mature in controlled environments, where the cheese is periodically washed and turned to develop the rind and balance the internal humidity.

Taleggio lends itself to multiple uses in the kitchen, from tasting on its own to using it in more elaborate recipes. It is particularly prized for its ability to blend easily, making it an ideal ingredient for enriching risottos, polenta, and sauces.

Its presence in a dish brings a touch of creaminess and a flavor that, although strong, does not overpower the other ingredients, but enhances them with balance and harmony.

In addition, Taleggio pairs beautifully with structured red wines and craft beers, making it an undisputed protagonist in moments of conviviality and tasting.

Polenta with Taleggio cheese corn flour

Ingredients needed for polenta with taleggio cheese

To prepare an authentic and tasty polenta with taleggio , the necessary ingredients are few but fundamental.

  • First of all, you will need good quality corn flour , preferably the coveted one, which is the most suitable for obtaining a polenta with an ideal consistency.
  • The water, which must be abundant and salted at the right point, is essential to cook the flour and transform it into the classic soft and enveloping polenta.
  • The protagonist that gives the dish its name is taleggio, a Lombard PDO cheese with an intense flavor and creamy texture, which blends perfectly with hot polenta.
  • It is important to choose a quality taleggio cheese, which is ripe at the right point to enhance the flavor without overpowering that of the polenta. To prepare polenta with taleggio cheese, we recommend the Taleggio DOP Casera Valsassina produced by For-Mac Milesi, a dairy renowned for all its products.
  • To further enrich the dish, you can add a knob of butter to give creaminess and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper for a touch of spiciness.
  • Some prefer to enrich polenta with taleggio cheese with aromatic herbs such as rosemary or thyme, which can be added during cooking to infuse their aromas.
  • Finally, to serve, don’t forget some grated Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on top of polenta with taleggio, thus creating a combination of flavors that celebrates the richness of Lombard cuisine.

With these ingredients at your disposal, you are ready to prepare polenta with taleggio, a dish that will warm the heart and delight the palate.

Preparation of polenta with taleggio cheese

The preparation of polenta with taleggio cheese is a process that requires patience and attention to detail to achieve a result that is both comforting and delicious.

  • Start by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil, maintaining a ratio of about four parts water to one part cornmeal.
  • When the water boils, pour in the flour in a sprinkle, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Once all of the flour is added, reduce the heat and continue stirring.
  • Polenta will take about 40-45 minutes of cooking time to reach the desired consistency; It must be creamy but at the same time compact, so that it can support the weight of the melted taleggio.
  • During cooking, if the polenta becomes too thick, you can add a little hot water to adjust the consistency.
  • When the polenta is almost ready, cut the taleggio into small pieces or slices and gently fold it into the polenta, allowing it to melt completely.
  • If desired, you can add a knob of butter for extra creaminess and enrich the flavor with a sprinkle of black pepper.
  • Once the taleggio has completely melted and blended with the polenta, it’s time to serve.
  • Pour the polenta onto a cutting board or into individual plates, allowing the warmth and inviting scent to spread.

Polenta with taleggio cheese is a dish that celebrates simplicity and richness of flavors, a classic of Lombard cuisine that warms the heart and satisfies the palate.