Appetizers and Antipasti / Pasta and Grains / Polenta / Writing

Passion. Parmesan and Polenta Pizzazz


A newbie in the world of social media, I left WordPress Camp Chicago with a head full of ideas and inspiration. The speakers were generous, information flowed and “networking” worthy of the name. Informed, appreciative and awed— my brain trailed tracks of acronyms— plugged-in to the web culture.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson coordinated WPWordCampChicago. Lisa wrote WordPress for Dummies.One of three books I keep in a plain-brown-cover. It was wonderful to meet her, see her in action —and I am forever grateful to her for all the help I received from her book.

And no. I’m not giving the names of my other two brown-cover books!

Magic Happens When You “Avoid  The Counterfeits”

Cory Miller spoke on Entrepreneurship and Passion. How important it is to have passion and to love what you do or change it! He says, “Entrepreneurship is about passion and profit.” And my favorite “Light yourself on fire and people will come (and/if only to) watch it burn!”

Find your passion, forge ahead with your dreams. Do something you love and understand! Enroll your spouse (if you have one) and follow your fire. Basically, life’s not about things or money. Life is about passion and the joy and excitement, energy,  that comes with doing what you love. “No hearse is ever followed by a U Haul.”

Sounds right to me. Doing what only you can do!

The Chicago Black Hawks have passion. FIRE!  And we’re all watching.

That got me to thinking about polenta…it has no fire. I want to like polenta. It sounds earthy, healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian and it’s Italian. But it’s bland. Like grits without the add-ons.


Parmesan has passion, pizzazz. No one is indifferent to Parmesan.

I experimented with this recipe, added Parmesan. And basil. Almost added garlic; I restrained.

Parmesan Polenta Pizzazz

Parmesan Polenta Pizzazz

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup finely chopped onion

2½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth

¾ cup polenta

⅓ cup and1 tablespoon chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, set 1 tablespoon aside for garnish

¼ cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese,

1½ tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves, 4 basil leaves, slice into small strips for garnish set aside

1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme

Sat and freshly ground pepper

Lightly oil an ovenproof glass pie pan or 8 inch square baking dish.

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Whisk That Polenta

Whisking constantly, gradually add the polenta to the broth in a fine stream. Lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the polenta thickens and easily comes away from the sides of the pot.

Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into the prepared pan smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Set aside to cool completely.

Parmesean Polenta Set Aside to Cool

Cut polenta into bite-size pieces for an appetizer or wedges for a side. Garnish each piece with basil and sun-dried tomato.

Serve and have fun watching the HAWKS on fire!


8 thoughts on “Passion. Parmesan and Polenta Pizzazz

  1. Passion that is the question, I just started my morning pages to help me find mine thanks for the instant reinforcement ! Wow… kind of freaked me out when I went to your blog today ! Thanks I needed this.

  2. “No hearse is ever followed by a U-haul”, that is a keeper, mind if I use it? They look beautiful, do they taste as good as they look? I really want to like polenta too.

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