Definition of polenta in English:



mass noun
  • 1Maize flour as used in Italian cooking; cornmeal.

    ‘maize is used, more coarsely ground, in Italy's versatile polenta’
    • ‘Soy grits are coarsely ground soybeans that can be used instead of corn grits or breakfast cereal, or mixed in polenta.’
    • ‘Add the flour, polenta and the baking powder, and mix.’
    • ‘Place the polenta, flour, sugar and lemon zest in a food processor with a pinch of salt.’
    • ‘Sift the polenta, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.’
    • ‘Breads, pasta, rice, noodles, couscous, polenta, bulgur and other grains are your main sources of carbohydrates.’
    • ‘Place the polenta, flour and baking powder in a bowl, with the salt and sugar.’
    • ‘Many of these have their own specific names, such as frumenty, made from wheat; tsampa, made from barley; polenta, made from maize; congee, from rice.’
    • ‘This local ingredient even found its way as far as Europe in the form of Italian polenta.’
    • ‘Cornmeal and polenta are not the same thing as cornstarch or cornflour.’
    • ‘Small dumplings, poached in boiling water then tossed with some kind of sauce, gnocchi can be made of potato, flour and ricotta, semolina, milk and cheese, and even polenta.’
    • ‘It also contains a number of grains, soaked overnight: linseed, rolled oats, polenta, sunflower seeds, purple kibbled wheat and sesame seeds.’
    • ‘Fold in the flour and polenta followed by the lemon zest.’
    • ‘Preheat the oven to 220°C. Lightly dust a metal tray with semolina or polenta.’
    • ‘While you can certainly choose to buy Italian polenta at a specialty store, you can use any finely ground cornmeal - and stone-ground, organic cornmeal is a good choice.’
    1. 1.1 A paste or dough made from polenta, which is boiled and typically then fried or baked.
      ‘roasted pork accompanied by grilled polenta’
      • ‘A loin of spring rabbit pan-roasted with chanterelles and accompanied by polenta with texture and presence is just as welcoming.’
      • ‘We were treated to a roasted marinated rack of lamb on a spiced lentil stew with basil polenta and rosemary gravy.’
      • ‘Roast lamb rib eye, with braised lettuce and baked white polenta, a ground corn dish - once regarded as a staple in Italy and now transformed into a fashionable accompaniment - is rounded off with Shiraz gravy.’
      • ‘And one evening we try crispy-crusted pig's-feet cakes, meltingly soft chunks of meat encased in polenta.’
      • ‘My suggestion is to make soft polenta, as the leftovers will set into firm polenta anyway, which you can grill or pan-fry to serve with pork sausages or a hot tomato sauce or, indeed, any leftover mushroom sauce.’
      • ‘Along the coast, a meal usually includes fish and pasta, risotto, or polenta.’
      • ‘But sometimes I make an omelette and sometimes I'll have - oh, on Monday night when I went home and had a dinner party, we had ox tail stew with watercress and polenta.’
      • ‘Toss on a little salt after roasting and add to pasta, polenta, pizza and omelets.’
      • ‘But if you let it settle and you slice it, or even better yet, if the slices are grilled, then polenta is my very good friend.’
      • ‘The bloggers dined al fresco on grilled marinated flank steak, polenta and Asparagus, with the aforementioned salad and cheesecake janegalt.’
      • ‘T shivered theatrically and chose risotto with asparagus, clams and octopus carpaccio to start, followed by rump steak and polenta.’
      • ‘You can't serve a Cumberland sausage with balsamic vinegar, polenta and all that foreign muck, you just can't.’
      • ‘It came to the table along with a soothing, interestingly chewy soup made of burrata cheese and fine white polenta, and a pair of nicely roasted scallops scored on their tops to resemble a pair of blooming flowers.’
      • ‘Expect to wait anything up to an hour for your food, to eat pasta or polenta out of a plastic container, to drink wine served in an old mineral water bottle and to tango the night away with someone old enough to be your grandfather.’
      • ‘I took the waitress's suggestion for the most popular dish: a slow cooked pork with bleu cheese polenta and spinach.’
      • ‘My decision to opt for fillet of beef with soft Gorgonzola polenta, cêpes, candied shallots and rosemary was inspired, even if it led to a calorific overload that made me feel as if I wouldn't be able to walk for a week.’
      • ‘Truth is, Gnocchi has more in common with polenta than pasta, at least when it comes to its genealogy.’
      • ‘Grilled polenta with sautéed wild mushrooms in a spicy artichoke ragoût is better.’
      • ‘Who knew you could grill polenta on an indoor grill?’
      • ‘This easy vegetable stew makes a great main dish when served over pasta, grilled artisan-style bread, or polenta.’


Late 16th century: Italian, from Latin, ‘pearl barley’ (a sense of polenta in Old English).