Polenta in Italy is considered as equal to bread. Especially on north Italy is used with meat and fish dishes like spezzatino (meat stew) or brasato (wine meat stew) baccalà alla Vicentina (Vicenza Cod stew).
Polenta can be served straight away, hot and runny. It can be prepared in advance, let it solidify and fried or grilled. It can also be the base of a beautiful appetizer.