Mămăligă Cu Smăntănă (Romanian Polenta with Sour Cream)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


This polenta-like pudding, a staple across Romania, has a firm texture and a briny flavor from a salty, feta-like cheese mixed in at the end of cooking. A topping of more cheese and sour cream makes this a satisfying side dish. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue with Alexander Lobrano's article Eternal Terrain.


  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 2 cups quick-cooking cornmeal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream


Step 1

Bring milk and butter to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Whisking constantly, add corn meal and salt and pepper, and cook until thickened and corn meal is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in half the feta, and then transfer to a greased 9″ pie dish; let cool until set, about 5 minutes. Top with remaining feta, and garnish with sour cream before serving.

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