Spicy Spinach and Garlic Polenta

This is the second polenta we’ve shared on Olverindulgence. The first, Parmesan Polenta, was made with more classic Italian flavours. This one is a little different. We needed a quick meal, and we were running low on green vegetables (really, spinach is all we had). Knowing how spinach has a tendency to cook down a lot, we figured we’d try adding it to a garlicky polenta to support Pork Marsala. We also wanted to play on the spicy/sweet dichotomy that we love, so we brought some red pepper flakes to the party to play with the sweetness from the reduced Marsala cooking wine.

Time: 20 Minutes


  • Corn Meal (about 1/3-1/2 cup is good for two servings)
  • Water (about 1 1/3 cup – 2 cups of water depending on how much corn meal you choose)
  • Garlic
  • Spinach (a good sized handful)
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)


  • Melt some butter in a pan, and dice and add your garlic to caramelize.
  • When the garlic is done, add some water, and bring it to a boil.
  • When it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, and slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking vigorously to avoid clumping. If your corn meal slurry (pardon the off-putting word choice) starts to “burp” and shoot up at you, turn the heat to the very lowest setting possible or even off for a few moments, and continue to stir.
  • When the corn meal absorbs the water and starts to thicken (turn the heat back on to low if you turned it off above), and add your handful of spinach.
  • Stir intermittently until the spinach wilts, and then add your salt and red pepper flakes to taste. You will need more than you think to impart true flavour into your burgeoning polenta.
  • When the spinach is cooked down and stirred in, and your polenta is to your desired thickness, you’re done.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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