polenta recipe


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    • Minutes

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Polenta is a hearty, classic Northern Italian style dish. This is my Nonna’s version, made using cornmeal only and topped with a hearty sausage ragu. It is bold and rich in flavour and was traditionally served spread onto the middle of the table so everyone could dig in and get their portion. This is sure to be your new favourite topping the next time you serve up polenta. (Did you know its also gluten free?)

Watch video recipe:

How to Make Nonna Igea Polenta | Italian Polenta Recipe from Abruzzo

polenta recipe


500ml/2cups Tomato Sauce (Passata)
Extra virgin olive oil
½ onion (diced into small pieces)
½ carrot (diced into small pieces)
4 x pork and fennel sausages (remove skin from 2 of them)
2 x pork ribs
500g/16oz pork mince
250g/1.47cups cornmeal (or one packet of ready-made polenta mix)
1L water
Rock salt
Fine salt

Small pot
Medium size fry pan
Large pot

1. For this Italian polenta recipe, add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil to a small pot, the add carrot and put it on the stove at a low-medium heat.
2. Leave it to fry for a minute or so before you add a whole pork sausage and two pork ribs to the pot, along with 500g of pork mince.
3. Mix the mince through so that it starts to brown and add some more EVOO to help it cook. Stir everything through to make sure it is cooked and ready to be added to the cornmeal polenta.
4. Then, add a pinch of salt, stir through and add 500ml of fresh tomato sauce.
5. To sweeten the taste of the sauce, add a touch of rock salt, and leave to simmer and cook through for at least an hour.
6. Now, it’s time to prepare the sausage you will add to the Italian cornmeal polenta (and it will also be used on top). Getting your medium size frypan, add some EVOO and place 3 more Italian sausages inside, breaking them up using a fork, by squashing and pressing them forward. They are to be enjoyed in pieces, not whole.
7. Cook this on a low-medium heat until well browned, adding 100g of veal mince and a pinch of salt. Mix this through and ensure it is well browned by moving the meat around with a wooden spoon.
8. Put a large pot on the stove, filling it with 1L of water. Leave it to heat up – but don’t boil it!
9. Add a pinch of rock salt to the water once it starts to heat and with the wooden spoon in one hand, get cornmeal in the other and slowly drop it into the water, while mixing it through with the spoon.
10. Don’t put all of the cornmeal in the polenta at once! You will see it start to grow in the water and eventually thicken, but the key is mix, mix mix!
NONNA IGEA’S TIP: If you are using instant polenta (from a packet), make sure you read the cooking instructions carefully, adding the right amount of water and leaving it to cook for the time specified.
11. Using a ladle, pour a portion of the sauce you prepared earlier, into the cornmeal polenta, and mix it through. At the same time add half of the sausage mince you also prepared and stir it in.
12. Keep stirring the polenta until it is a thick consistency and it should start to bubble.
13. Be careful not to undercook your polenta or it will be runny and not set!

italian nonna

Get a small amount of sugo, and put it onto a flat plate, then add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. Next, pour the polenta on top of the sugo, spreading it out and adding more delicious sugo on top with a light sprinkle of sausage mince left from earlier! Sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top, and add the sausage mince on top that was prepared earlier.

italian polenta recipe

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