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Polenta with Meat Sauce

For a while I’ve been thinking about making polenta again. The last time was for deep fried polenta with red harissa tomato sauce, which was tasty, but not really a meal. So tonight I set about making polenta to have with a bolognese style meat sauce.

Now, I’ve heard tales of automatic electric polenta pots, but we don’t have any of those fancy gadgets in my kitchen, so it was a saucepan, wooden spoon (I don’t have a polenta stick either), and a 9 year old boy for slave labour. (if they’re enthusiastic are they still slave labour?)

!/recipes/images/PwMS.jpg (Polenta with Meat Sauce)!

h2. Ingredients.

h3. Polenta

* 350 g of coarse polenta (I think it’s the coarse variety, you really only get one sort in Brisbane)
* 1.25 L of boiling water
* salt (I used a heaped teaspoon)
* more boiling water

* 1 egg
* a knob of butter
* freshly grated parmesan cheese (to taste)

h3. Meat Sauce

* 450 g of ground beef mince
* 1 stalk of celery
* 1 red (Spanish) onion
* 2 large mushrooms
* about a dozen kalamata olives
* 1 tin of roma tomatoes
* 2 dessertspoons of tomato paste
* half a bunch of basil, leaves only
* salt and pepper
* a capsicum (bell pepper)
* some red wine
* some balsamic vinegar

h2. Method.

h3. Polenta.

In a medium saucepan, boil the 1.25L of water with the salt. Now add the polenta and stir constantly. It will be difficult. If it gets too thick, add some more boiling water. Employ your slave labour to continue stirring for the next 45 to 60 minutes (use this time to make the meat sauce).

At about 35 to 45 minutes or so, pre-heat the oven to 200C.

When done (45 to 60 minutes, depending on your strength and how grainy you want your polenta – longer cooking time, less grainy), stir in the parmesan cheese and very quickly stir in the egg (you don’t want the egg to cook in lumps).

Pour the whole thing into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

h3. Meat Sauce

Dice and sauté the onion in a little olive oil. Add the diced capsicum, celery and mushrooms.
Once the capsicum is softened, add the mince, stir and brown.
Halve the olives and add to the pot. Stir occasionally.
Add the tinned tomatoes and break them up with your spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
Wash, and chop the basil leaves and add them to the pot with a healthy splash of red wine, a splash of balsamic vinegar and the tomato paste.
Simmer until the polenta is ready.

h3. To Serve…

Cut the polenta into slabs, and serve in pasta bowls.
Top with the meat sauce. Optionally decorate with fresh basil leaves.

posted to Italian,Recipes @ 8:50 pm

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Bacon and Mushroom Cheesecake. | home | Beef Stoganoff on Barley