Grana Padano Cheese Polenta with Crispy Mushrooms
For the polenta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup polenta
4 ounces Grana Padano cheese, finely grated
2 teaspoons salt
For the mushrooms
½ cup olive oil, divided
1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced or halved
4 sprigs thyme
2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons finely diced chives, optional
To prepare polenta, in a medium saucepan, bring 4 ½ cups water to a boil. Add butter and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover until polenta is tender, about 30 minutes. Whisk in grana padano cheese; add salt.
To prepare mushrooms, heat half the oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add half the thyme, mushrooms and salt; cook, turning mushrooms occasionally, until crispy, 8-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil, mushrooms, thyme and salt.
To serve, spoon polenta into shallow bowls. Top with mushrooms and garnish with chives and additional cheese, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
Cacio E Pepe Mac n’ Cheese with Grana Padano Cheese
8oz elbow pasta
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more for cooking water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1-½ cups finely grated Grana Padano cheese, divided
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until almost al dente, two minutes less than the package directions say. Set aside ¾ cups of pasta water and drain pasta.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add pepper, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, the pasta and 1 cup of the cheese. Gently stir pasta until cheese has melted into the sauce and coats the pasta.
Remove from heat; add remaining ½ cup cheese and ¼ teaspoon salt. Keep folding pasta until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings