Polenta, of course, isn’t polenta until it’s cooked – until then it’s just cornmeal.
The classic ratio is 1 part polenta to 4 parts water. You can use chicken broth instead of water. It’s a perfect base for any kind of saucy meat or mushroom ragout.
Bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Pour in polenta steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened. It should come away from sides of the pan, and be able to support a spoon. This can take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes. Pour polenta onto a wooden cutting board, let stand for a few minutes.
There are many options for polenta once it is cooked: you can mix in fresh herbs and cheeses as Gorgonzola, Fontina. Or bake it with mushroom, topped with Parmigiano.