If possible, the polenta should be cooked in a copper pan called “paiolo” with a hemispherical base and not tinplated. Proceed as follows: Bring to the boil 8 cups of water with about 1 Tbsp of salt and keep to hand more boiling water to add during cooking. Pour in, a little at a time and in a constant rain, 1,2 lb of large-grained cornmeal. With the aid of a wooden spoon, stir very frequently to avoid lumps forming. As the mixture gradually thickens, pour in more boiling water as necessary. After 15 minutes’ cooking, add another 1 lb of cornmeal and continue to stir until cooked. Polenta is perfectly cooked when it easily comes away from the sides. This can happen after half an hour of cooking but, to make it more digestible, it is advisable to cook for at least one hour, stirring constantly. Polenta can be enjoyed soft and very hot, accompanied by various sauces or second courses with a sauce, or firm, cut into slices, and sprinkled with cheese. Sliced polenta is a first-class substitute for bread, especially if accompanied by a sauce or some braised meat.