Polenta Macafana

“Hunger-killer” polenta

Golden yellow, tasty and so nutritious, if accompanied by other food: in Trentino, polenta has nourished many generations of peasants, so each area has its own typical recipe. In fact, in addition to classic polenta, here you can also enjoy polenta carbonera (polenta into which other ingredients, such as butter, cheese, sausage and sometimes chestnuts and beans, are mixed), polenta cuncia, (polenta mixed with cheese and other dairy products), polenta di patate (polenta that includes potatoes in its ingredients) or polenta macafana, whose recipe you will find below.

Macafana, literally means “hunger-killer”, which says a great deal about its importance for the survival of many peasants. Its secret ingredient is Spressa delle Giudicarie, a semi-hard cheese produced in the south-eastern area of Trentino.

Have we whet your appetite? Here then is the polenta macafana recipe!

Polenta macafana, a traditional dish


  • 1 kg Storo yellow flour

  • 34 litres water

  • 200 gr Burro Fieno (butter certified with the Trentino Quality Mark)

  • 200 gr Trentingrana cheese

  • 500 gr Spressa delle Giudicarie cheese

  • 500 g chicory

  • Onion for the “soffrito” (browned onion)

  • Coarse salt

  • Black pepper


Bring 3-4 litres of salted water to the boil. When the water boils, add the washed, finely chopped chicory and, after a couple of minutes, add the flour and continue cooking for about 25 minutes. Then add the Spressa cheese, cut into cubes, and continue cooking the polenta, mixing it well for other 10 minutes. Remove the polenta from the heat, transfer it into a heat-resistant dish, sprinkle with grated Trentingrana cheese and finally pour the melted butter and previously browned onion over it. Serve the polenta piping hot.

Published on 06/06/2023