Serves 6 to 8
Bring the water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. When the water is boiling, add the polenta in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. As soon as the polenta thickens 3 to 4 minutes, change to a wooden spoon. Stir the polenta until it is creamy and soft and the spoon nearly stands in the polenta, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8 cups water
2 cups polenta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper