I’ve been thinking about polenta ever since we picked up a bag at Claudio down on 9th Street. That was a fun trek – and one we just don’t take as often as we should. The anchovies, alone, were worth the trip.

I used to cook polenta quite often, but Nonna doesn’t like it – she says she ate just a bit too much of it as a child at the Sons of Italy Orphanage – but every now and again, it’s worth making semi-separate dinners. I really can’t think of any negative food associations. On the other hand, I can think of scores of foods that can bring an instant smile – and a great memory – to my face. I guess I’m just a happy food kinda guy.

I almost always make my polenta with milk and add butter and cheese when it’s pretty much finished cooking. The cheese will vary and it’s usually just what I happen to have in the ‘fridge at the moment. Anything will work. Tonight’s had Locatelli.

To top the polenta, I grilled chicken breasts that were drizzled in a basil olive oil. I’m not sure where the oil came from, but it was probably Cost Plus. It was in one of those little airline liquor-sized bottles and I tend to buy lots of those things whenever I hit their stores. Wherever it came from, it was petty good.

What was excellent, however, was Little Gram’s Eggplant on top of everything. It really did make for a totally unique and rich dish that took absolutely no effort to put together.

I’m glad there’s lots downstairs!