Polenta requires a lot of attention, exceptional ingredients and decent upper-body strength, but when it’s done right, few things in a dish are as satisfying. We selected Manuela Darling-Gansser’s recipe for Polenta Pasticciata, which translates roughly as “messed up,” from her new cookbook because it’s one of the cheesier versions we’ve seen. 

When I make polenta I always like to make more than I need. Then I can use the left-over polenta the next day to make something marvelous. This is one of those “next-day” recipes, baked in the oven to produce a rich and warming dish traditional to the foothills of the Italian Alps.