Macafam

Savoury Polenta Cake

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This is a good example of a plain recipe that would have been eaten by the poorer population of the Veneto countryside rather than by the nobility of the grand households of Venice. It uses the basic starch maize meal, but instead of boiling it in water to make polenta, the flour is mixed with stock to make a smooth paste before it is combined with other ingredients and baked into a savoury cake. Note the use of the bacon for greasing, which reflects the fact that no butter or oil would have been available to those who once made this dish. You can, of course, use oil for greasing if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 250 g/9 oz/ cups yellow polenta flour
  • 600 ml/1 pint/ cups beef or chicken stock
  • 75 g/3 oz pork fat, finely minced/ground
  • 2 Italian sausages, sliced into rounds
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp dried fine breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 thick bacon rasher/strip or pancetta slice, weight 50 g/2 oz
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • salad leaves, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Pour the polenta flour into a bowl and add the cold stock, stirring gently and constantly to achieve a smooth paste.
  2. Stir in the pork fat, sausages, breadcrumbs, beaten eggs and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Use the bacon or pancetta to grease a 25 cm/10 in cake tin or pan. Pour in the polenta mixture and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown.

  4. Turn out of the tin and serve piping hot, with salad leaves.