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Butternut squash gives this polenta a lovely pumpkin color and caramelized onions add a savory sweetness. Pour the polenta into a wide bowl rather than a tall narrow bowl; that way, the dome will firm and brown better in the oven and will slice neatly at the table. Then get out your best platter! Surrounded by our Roasted Autumn Vegetables, this is a big centerpiece of a dish—our tribute to the architecture of Italy. For an added touch, sprinkle the finished dome with a little shredded mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, aged provolone, or extra-sharp Cheddar.
For a dome, the aim is a firm but pourable polenta. Finely ground cornmeal will cook in just a few minutes. Most medium-grind, fairly dark yellow cornmeals will take about 20 minutes to cook. Stone-ground and very coarse cornmeals can take up to 45 minutes. All of the varieties will probably need additions of water during cooking.
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