Polenta has so much potential in the kitchen, and our dear friend, author and TV chef Cristina Ferrare helped us embrace the endless possibilities of this versatile grain. Here, we paired a slow ragu of tomatoes with gently fried polenta disks. When the chill of autumn starts to arrive and you can still get your hands on a late-summer batch of tomatoes, this hearty dish is perfect to fuel the soul.

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup / 80g)
  • 1 pound (455g) ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (1-pound / 455-g) tube polenta, sliced ½ inch (12mm) thick
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ cup (50g) freshly grated Parmesan



  1. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry each side of the polenta disks just until warm and soft. Do not fry the polenta too much or it will become mushy and break apart.
  4. Serve the tomato ragu over the polenta disks and garnish with the basil and Parmesan.