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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

POLENTA di Mais o (granturco)

With snow on the ground and temperature dipping in the teens, there is no better food than a dish of polenta to remove the chill. Polenta made with yellow cornmeal (mais) and water is robust, satisfying and cheap.
Polenta with Sausage Ragύ
All photos - Copyright - ©2011 - La Casa e Il Giardino - picasaweb

Contrary to what one might think, polenta is not just popular in Italy but is widespread and well known in other parts of the world, such as Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia and also in Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela. You'll find variations on this dish throughout Italy.

Here is one version - Polenta with Sausage Ragύ

Ingredients - 4 persons

2 cups medium to coarse yellow cornmeal
7 cups of water
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Put salt into cold water in a heavy medium pot. Stir in cornmeal. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the olive oil, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until polenta thickens around 40 minutes.

Sausage Ragύ
1 lb. sausage meat
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
Sprig of parsley
Sprig of basil
Salt and Pepper

In a medium pan, add olive oil, garlic and onion.  Saute' until golden and add sausage meat.  Cook meat for 10 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes, parsley, basil and salt and pepper.  Simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Once polenta is cooked, place a small amount on a dish and add some sauce.  Repeat the layers until polenta is used up.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

If you're a vegetarian, omit the sausage meat.