Polenta con Pancetta

When it’s foggy outside it’s time for a heartwarming lunch. Today, I tried Polenta con Pancetta. It is very simple to cook and tastes yummy, well, we are in Foodie’s heaven here in the Piedmont and getting excellent ingredients is easy, so even the simplest meal becomes a feast!

Ingredients for about 8 servings:

440 g Semolina (me farina di Mais Fine Mulino Marino)
2liters of water
100 g Parmesan grated
80 g Pancetta (if not available use bacon)
Salt, pepper, aniseed, thym, rosemary

Bring the water to boil, add salt and the semolina. Stir very well to ensure all lumps are dissolved. Turn down the heat to the lowest flame and let the polenta simmer for 60 minutes, stirring well every now and then. Towards the end, add the spices and the cheese.
Prepare a baking dish by layering half of the pancetta on the bottom of the pan. Top with the polenta and add the other half of the pancetta on top of the polenta.
Bake in the oven at 180c for about 15 minutes until the pancetta gets crispy.

Enjoy alone or with grilled sausages, or any kind of stew.

Ps: and while I was cooking, the sun came out 👍☀️

There’s not only Truffle in Piemonte…

Risotto ai Funghi Porcini

It is autumn in Italy and harvesting time. The colours start changing, the days get shorter and it is cold enough again in the evenings to cook heavier meals.
Today, we found fresh Porcini mushrooms at our vegetable shop ilFruttiverduriere, they looked so amazing, we had to buy them. Then we added some fresh red onions to the basket and the remaining ingredients were already at home:


500g Carnaroli rice
2 fresh red onions, finely chopped
3 big Porcini mushrooms, cut in pieces
1 lt of beef broth (chicken or veggie work too)
200g freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive oil
Thym, Pepper, Salt, dried Fennel Seeds, Peperoncino
1dl red or white wine

In a deep pan, steam the onions in the olive oil until they start smelling nicely and get a bit of colour, add the rice and stir very well for about 2minutes until glazed. Add the wine, stir well. Now add approximately 1-2dl of the broth at a time and stir until the rice has fully absorbed the liquid. Repeat, stir, repeat, stir. Usually it takes 15-18 minutes until the risotto is “al dente”.

Towards the end of the cooking time, stir-fry the Porcini in a separate pan until golden brown, add some pepper, peperoncino, fennel seeds and thym. Add the Porcini to the risotto, stir well ( oh and by they way, you need to continue stirring your risotto while frying your mushrooms…that is the “fun” part)
Turn off the stove and add in the Parmesan cheese, season the risotto to taste with pepper, thym, etc. I added a bit of thym scented olive oil.
Buon appetito! IMG_1755.JPG