The picture shows the traditional way of serving polenta: spread out on a wooden table and covered with red tomato sauce, sausage and lots of grated pecorino cheese (some prefer parmesan cheese). It is so much fun to sit around the table with family or friends and carve your way into the polenta with your fork and steal a sausage from your neighbor. This is a great memory as a kid! Of course there are many ways to cook and eat polenta. The recipe that we provide here is the traditional Abruzzo style. Please refer to ingredient shown below. Slice and fry the onions in a large pan using some of the olive oil. When the onions begin to dry up, add the bacon and sausage. Let this mixture sauté for a while, then pour 1/2 glass of red wine and let it evaporate completely. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 1 hour.
While the sauce is cooking, fill a large pan with about 6-8 cups of water and place it over high heat. Add a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil to the water. As the water starts to heat up, pour in the corn flour little by little, taking care with your other hand to stir constantly to avoid lumps. As the water heats up, your polenta will start thickening. Keep stirring constantly and continue to cook the polenta for approximately 20 minutes after it starts to boil. To test if the polenta is properly cooked, put half a spoonful on a plate. When it cools, try to remove it from the plate with a fork. If it detaches from the plate, your polenta is cooked.
Next, clean the surface of your wooden board making sure the surface is slightly moist. Carefully turn the polenta onto the board (for 6 people you will need a board approximately 40” x 30”). Level the polenta with a wooden spoon then cover it with the sauce and grated pecorino cheese (or parmesan). The Polenta is ready to eat! If you do not have a large wooden board you can use smaller wooden boards or individual plates. However, eating on a large board is much more fun when eating with friends or family! Buon appetito!
- 2 pounds of corn flour
- 10 ounces of non-aged bacon (we also use what we call grasso e magro, which is the fat and lean of pork)
- 6 Italian sausages (one sausage for each serving)
- red wine (about ½ cup)
- extra virgin olive oil (about ½ cup)
- 2 pounds of chopped fresh tomatoes
- chili pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (about 9 ounces)