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Polenta Taragna – A specialty of Bergamo

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

If there is one plate that represents Bergamo (and more or less of Northern Italy) its Polenta. You can’t pass through without tasting it!

The name “polenta” derives from the Latin “puls” and the Greek “poltos”, the terms given to meals made of flour eaten by both the Greeks and Romans. An ancient food originally considered a peasant dish, polenta has been handed down over generations to the present day.

We can even find it mentioned in literature by various writers: a famous passage in the VI chapter of Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Manzoni describes the polenta prepared by Tonio for Renzo.

This "enriched" version of polenta is suitable for vegetarians and goes well with other local products (meat, vegetables or fish). To turn normal polenta into polenta taragna, when it is nearly cooked you need to add sizable bits of fresh alpine cheese (branzi, Bitto or formai de mut) and finally butter. Serve it topped with melted butter, sage and garlic.

Here’s how to make Polenta Tradizionale:

Cook Time: 45-60 minutes.

Servings: 6 portions


  • 4 cups of water

  • 1 cup of Polenta

  • 3 tbsp Butter

  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

  • Salt


  • Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan; pour polenta slowly into boiling water, whisking constantly until all polenta is stirred in and there are no lumps. Add approximately one tablespoon of coarse salt.

  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often until polenta starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Polenta mixture should still be slightly loose. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, whisking every 5 to 6 minutes.

  • When the polenta is too thick to whisk, stir with a wooden spoon. Polenta is done when the texture is creamy and the individual grains are tender.

  • Turn off heat and gently stir 2 tablespoons butter into polenta until butter partially melts; mix 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into polenta until cheese has melted.

  • Cover and let stand 5 minutes to thicken; stir and taste for salt before transferring to a serving bowl. Top polenta with remaining 1 tablespoon butter and about 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish.

If you want a quick and easy meal, you can also make this delicacy at home easily with our instant Valsuga Polenta from our import partner, Chenab Gourmet.

Get Valsuga Polenta and more Italian Gourmet products at your doorstep and get up to 25% discount when you order with us. Get in touch at or call at +91 9811392313 to get a complete list of items and place your order!

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Source(s): Visit Bergamo, Allrecipes

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