Relatively short cooking time and uses easier-to-find corn meal. To accompany a cut of meat. Smother it with the sweet tomato sauce recipe (follows).


6 servings


4 cups water
1 tbsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup yellow corn meal
½ cup Pecorino Romano or Parmiggiano Reggiano
3 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
½ tsp nutmeg

1. Presoak corn meal in 1-2 cups of water for 30 minutes. (This will keep it from lumping.) Bring rest of water to a boil with salt, then add olive oil and the presoaked polenta. Lower heat to low, then simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick and creamy wisking every few minutes.

2. Remove from heat. Add cheese, egg yolk, butter and nutmeg, then mix vigorously.

3. Pour into small Pyrex baking dish (rectangular/square). Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or over night). Divide into 6 equal servings to a plate for cooking.

4. In a skillet on medium high with olive oil, fry (griddle) the polenta bricks until golden brown on the bottom, turn and repeat for their tops. Place on dinner plate; serve with a good sauce and pork steak. The polenta should be crispy on top and bottom, but creamy in the middle. Its contribution is mostly texture, so go wild with the flavor of your sauce and the meat it accompanies.

Sweet tomato sauce

Serve this over the skillet browned polenta.

1 can (14.5 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 oz Pecorino Romano cheese
1½ tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder or minced garlic

Process tomatoes and their juice in blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, cut side down and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Pecorino, sugar, salt, garlic powder and remaining 3 tbsp oil. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, discard onion, cover and keep warm.