Chestnut Flour Polenta Cooking Recipe – Polenta Alla Farina di Castagne Recipe
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 4 cups (1 liter) water
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups (10 oz./300 g) chestnut flour
- Boil the water in a saucepan. Add the salt and olive oil, then pour in the flour, mixing continuously with a whisk to prevent lumps forming (1).
- Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring continuously (after the initial phase the whisk can be replaced by a wooden spoon) (2).
- At the end of the cooking time, stir vigorously (3), and immediately pour onto a polenta board to firm up. Accompany with soft cheese, charcuterie, sausages, herrings, or a meat- or mushroom-based sauce.
Different Ways to Serve Polenta
Soft polenta is usually served directly from the saucepan onto plates with a sauce to accompany it.
Polenta prepared/or dishes requiring a firmer texture is poured onto a polenta board, spread out, and left to firm up (allow approximately 30 minutes). It can then be cut into Vi in. to 1 in. (1 to 2 cm) slices, which can be served immediately or cooked a second time.
Broiled or grilled polenta (grigliata) (1)
Place the slices of polenta under a broiler or on a lightly oiled, preheated ribbed grill pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side until well browned.
Baked polenta (al forno)
Place the slices of polenta on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake at 450°F (250°C) until well browned (approximately 5 minutes).
Fried polenta (fritta) (2)
Fry the slices of polenta in oil heated to 350°F/180°C.The slices are cooked as soon as they are well browned. Drain on paper towel. You can make polenta “fries” by cutting it into sticks rather than slices.
Polenta gnocchi (gnocchi di polenta)
Immerse the polenta cut into dice in salted boiling water. As soon as the dice rise to the surface, drain them, and add butter and grated cheese (Parmesan or firmly set ricotta).
Shrimp (Friuli style): Top soft polenta with shrimp sauteed in butter with garlic, parsley, and button mushrooms.
Sausage (Roman style): soften onions with olive oil, chopped garlic, and parsley in a saucepan, then add the sausages and brown them. Deglaze with white wine and add tomato sauce. Cook for 15 minutes. Serve on soft polenta on warmed plates and sprinkle with grated pecorino.
Pancetta lardons: create alternate layers of soft polenta, cheese, and bacon, lightly fried in a skillet with butter and sage.
Onion (Trentino style): top grilled polenta with onions softened in a skillet with olive oil and rosemary, seasoned with salt and pepper.
Salt cod (Venetian style): all recipes for preparing salt cod go well with polenta (see stock fish alia Vicentina, p. 249).
Quail polenta (Bergamo style): cook the cleaned quail for 20 minutes in a skillet with butter and sage, serve them with their juices on top of soft polenta served on warm plates. You can also serve the polenta with kebabs of quail.
Beef or wild boar Bolognese sauce (ragu): serve soft polenta on warmed plates topped with the sauce and grated Parmesan.
Gorgonzola (Milanese style): pour half of the cooked polenta onto a polenta board, dot with butter and small cubes of Gorgonzola, cover with the rest of the polenta; cut into portions and serve immediately.
Polenta Como Valley style (uncia): in a serving dish, create alternate layers of soft polenta with grated Parmesan; and onions lightly fried in a skillet with butter and sage.
Cheese polenta (specialty of Oropa in Piedmont and of the Val d’Aosta): after cooking polenta for 30 minutes, add 8 oz. (250 g) cheese (a mixture of Gorgonzola, fontina, and Tomme) cut into small dice. Complete the cooking time and stir in about 1 stick (4 oz./115 g) of melted butter. Add another 3 V2 oz. (100 g) of cheese and mix in well. Remove from the heat and serve immediately:
Porcini: fry sliced porcini in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and deglaze with white wine. Serve on slices of grilled polenta.
Baked Polenta Cooking Recipe – Polenta Pasticciata Recipe
- Preparation time: 45 minutes
- Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 10 oz. (300 g) ground beef
- 2 chipolata sausages
- 1 stick (4 oz./100 g) butter
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick celery
- ½ cup (1 oz./30 g) dried porcini (soaked in water for 10 minutes)
- 3 ½ oz. (100 g) guanciale (cured pork cheek flavored with herbs)
- 1 cup (250 ml) white wine
- 1 ½ cups (8 oz./250 g) peeled tomatoes
- 4 oz. (100 g) raw ham
- 1 portion polenta cooled on a polenta board
- 1 ½cups (7 oz./200 g) grated Gruyere
- 1/3 cup (2 oz./50 g) grated Parmesan
- Fry the beef and the chipolatas in a saucepan with half the butter. Wash, peel, and chop all the vegetables except the tomatoes and add them to the pan with the rehydrated porcini and the guanciale.
- Let soften, then deglaze with the wine. Add the tomatoes and a scant V2 cup (100 ml) water, season with salt, then leave this sauce to simmer for 15 minutes. Cut the ham into strips.
- In a buttered baking dish, create alternate layers of polenta and sauce (1). Sprinkle each layer with grated Gruyere cheese and ham (2).
- Finish with a layer of polenta. Sprinkle over Parmesan cheese and dot with the remaining butter (3).
Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
- Another traditional lighter version is to replace the sausage and beef with veal and the livers and hearts from chicken or other poultry.
Did you know?
- The literal translation of the Italian name of this dish is “messy polenta.”