Polenta, as befits la cucina povera, is simple to make but requires patience and care. Polenta was traditionally made by the fire, cooked in a copper pot known as a paiolo, hung close to the fireplace and stirred with a wooden stick known as a tarai (or tarel in some areas). Polenta today is usually made on top of a stove, and some modern methods have been developed.
Traditional method for making polenta: In a paiolo or other large pot, preferably made of copper, bring some lightly salted water to the simmer. I find that a ratio of 1 liter (1 quart) of water for 250g (1/2 lb.) of polenta flour works well. Have some more water on hand, simmering in a saucepan or kettle at the back of the stove
When the water in paiolo has come to the simmer, add the polenta in a constant but gradual stream—in Italian they say ‘a pioggia‘ or like rain—stirring the pot all the while with a whisk or wooden spoon in one direction until all the polenta has been incorporated into the water: [...]
Via Mariano Pallottini