Egg-Filled Polenta Cups

Adapted from Menu Turistico 


Serves four people

1 cup polenta (I used the quick-cooking kind)

2 cups milk (I used skim)

1 1/2 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 T. minced rosemary

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

salt, pepper to taste


1 bunch of fresh spinach (I used a pre-washed bag of baby spinach leaves)

1 T. olive oil

1/4 cup minced shallot or onion

salt, pepper


1 cup grated fontina cheese


4 medium size eggs


Heat the milk and water in a saucepan and add the bay leaf and rosemary. Bring it to a low simmer and let the bay leaf impart some flavor for a few minutes, then remove it. Add the cornmeal in a steady stream and stir constantly until it thickens. If using instant polenta, it will take only five to 10 minutes. Pour the polenta into greased pyrex ramekins or other similar containers. Immediately, make an indentation with a spoon or use a small measuring cup or the bottom of a small glass. Make it large enough to fit a whole egg into the space. Chill the ramekins in the refrigerator for five to ten minutes. Then remove the polenta cup from the ramekin by flipping it upside on your palm, and then right side up. Place the ramekins in a greased baking dish.


Saute the minced onions in the olive oil, then add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted.


Crack a medium size egg into each of the polenta cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes - keeping an eye on the egg so it doesn't get overcooked. It may take shorter or longer, depending on your oven, but the egg should be very runny. Then cover the egg with the spinach mixture and grated fontina cheese. Bake another five minutes until the cheese is melted. When I first made these, I baked them from the start with the spinach and cheese over the raw egg, but the egg was so well insulated with the covering that it took a long time to cook. Also, when the egg is totally covered, you can't really tell if it's cooked, or overcooked, so use the method of baking the egg alone on top of the polenta in order to have greater control over the runniness of the egg, then finish baking for only a couple of minutes at the end with the spinach and cheese.