Home / Recipes / Course / Main Dish / Traditional Polenta

Traditional Polenta

Traditional Polenta,  is considered an Italian Comfort Food. This polenta recipe is served with a tasty Sausage Pork Rib Sauce. A perfectly hearty dinner that will warm you through.

Polenta in a bowl with sausage and meat.


 

I had never made Polenta before, and I have only ever eaten it few times. We decided to make a little get together and our amazing Chef Friend volunteered, since it is one of his specialties. Thanks to him I have eaten some traditional Roman dishes such as Cacio e Pepe and Spaghetti Carbonara.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Pork ribs
  • Sausages
  • Tomato sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Pepper
  • rosemary
  • Bay leaves
  • Wine
  • Salt
  • Water

For the polenta

  • Cornmeal flour
  • Water
  • Salt

Why add wine?

Adds additional aroma and flavor to the Italian homemade sausage. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t add it. You could use a red wine such as Sangiovese or Chianti preferred.

How to make Polenta

A creamy Traditional Polenta, served with a delicious Sausage Pork Rib Tomato Sauce Recipe, Italian Comfort Food at it's best.

In a large saucepan on medium high heat, add the oil, garlic, sausage and ribs, salt to taste, and a dash of pepper, brown meat on both sides, add the bay leaf and rosemary turn up heat and add the wine and cook until wine has evaporated (approximately 3-5 minutes).

A creamy Traditional Polenta, served with a delicious Sausage Pork Rib Tomato Sauce Recipe, Italian Comfort Food at it's best.

Add the tomato puree and the water and salt, stir to combine, bring to a boil, then simmer until the meat is tender.

While sauce is simmering make the Polenta. In a large pot add the water and bring to a boil, gradually pour in the corn meal, stir constantly with a wooden spoon to combine, once it starts to boil reduce the heat but keep stirring until thick.

Serve the polenta in a bowl with the sauce and meat top with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Cheese. 

What is polenta?

Polenta is a famous Italian dish made with cornmeal it has the texture very much like porridge. This tasty dish is particularly widespread in Northern Italy. It can be served as side dish or topped with vegetables such as mushrooms or even add some chicken. Just be sure to serve it with a delicious marinara sauce also.

Polenta is considered a poor dish in fact it has been the food that has accompanied the peasants of Northern Italy for centuries.

Polenta as we know it, made with cornmeal, was first made in the 15th century AD. following the introduction corn into Europe.

It was a very dynamic period as far as Italian cuisine is concerned, together with the introduction of corn, the tomato also arrived during that period which completely changed the culinary tradition of the period.

Expert Tip

Be sure to stir continuously this will prevent lumps in the polenta.

How to store it

Any polenta leftovers should be stored in an air tight container and refrigerated. It will keep for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Leftover can be sliced and then fried on a hot grill or pan, this will make it crunchy It can then be sliced ​​to pass it on the hot grill to make it dense and crunchy, then cut it up to make croutons!

I have to tell you though, he made one of the best sauces I have ever eaten, so, if like me Polenta isn’t on your Italian-Food-Wish-List, I can assure you this Sausage Pork Rib Tomato Sauce will certainly make up for it.

Thank goodness there was some left over sauce because it was perfect over a little Rigatoni. However you serve this Sauce with some Traditional Polenta or over Pasta, Buon Appetito!

Polenta in a bowl with sausage and meat.
Polenta in a bowl with sausage and meat.

Traditional Polenta

Rosemary Molloy
A creamy Traditional Polenta, served with a delicious Sausage Pork Rib Tomato Sauce Recipe, Italian Comfort Food at it's best.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 792 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 pound pork ribs (cut into small pieces)
  • 5 Italian sausages
  • cups tomato puree (passata)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (1 whole & 1 minced)
  • hot pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup wine (red or white)
  • 3/4¾ teaspoon salt
  • cups water

FOR THE POLENTA

  • 2 cups cornmeal flour
  • 7 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

FOR THE SAUCE

  • In a large saucepan on medium high heat, add the oil, garlic, sausage and ribs, salt to taste, and a dash of pepper, brown meat on both sides, add the bay leaf and rosemary turn up heat and add the wine and cook until wine has evaporated (approximately 3-5 minutes).
  • Add tomato puree and water, 1/4 teaspoon salt,  stir to combine, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour or until meat is tender (fall off bone tender). Taste for salt. While sauce is simmering make the Polenta.

FOR THE POLENTA

  • In a large pot add the water and bring to a boil, gradually pour in the corn meal, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to combine, once it starts to boil reduce heat but keep stirring, cook for approximately 45-50 minutes stirring until thick. Taste for salt.  Serve immediately with the sauce and a generous sprinkle of Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese. Enjoy!

Notes

Any polenta leftovers should be stored in an air tight container and refrigerated. It will keep for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Leftover can be sliced and then fried on a hot grill or pan, this will make it crunchy It can then be sliced ​​to pass it on the hot grill to make it dense and crunchy, then cut it up to make croutons!

Nutrition

Calories: 792kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1582mg | Potassium: 849mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 566IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

21 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this recipe. My grandmother used to make this (similar) and I had no idea how to make it. Can’t wait!

  2. I never know what to buy for the polenta. Some packages actually say polenta, some say cornmeal, fine or coarse. Is it all basically the same? What to buy in the US that gives the great result that I find in restaurants in Italy.

    1. Hi JJ, I think you could use a package that says polenta, read the instructions and ingredients to be sure. They say coarse is better than fine cornmeal. Let me know. Take care!

  3. Hi Rosemary! My Nonna used to make this often as it was a filling meal to feed a big family! She used to spread the polenta on her big macaroni board, then fix it with the sauce and cheese. She would put the meat in the center. Her kids had to eat their way to the meat, therefore getting full before needing too much meat! Poor people’s food indeed! Those old Italian women knew how to feed big families good food with very little money. So thankful to have had them in my life! Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Lydia, a lot of Italians would do it that way and yes they sure knew what they were doing! It seems poor people’s food is the best food! Take care and Happy New Year to you too!

  4. I am a polenta fan – comfort food! I could not believe it until I tried, but instant pot polenta is great. Also, there is a recipe for creamy baked polenta that is an incredibly easy and a no fuss way to cook polenta.

  5. Your recipe looks good. However, I have always been a polenta lover. I am Italian American and every Friday when I was growing up, we did not have fish on Friday, we had polenta. My mother made a simple garlicky tomato sauce. She fried garlic in olive oil, removed it, then added tomato paste and water. Simmered the sauce for the time it took to cook the polenta. Then she served it with lots of pecorino Romano cheese. Pure heaven. Sausages, etc. are a bonus, but I loved the simplicity of this wonderful dish, and still do. Great meatless meal. Thanks for your blog, I really enjoy it and have made a number of your recipes, especially Italian baked goods. They were great.

  6. Oh my word, I bet this was fantastic! I think I need to have some friends over and make this, too. What a wonderful idea.

  7. That sauce does sound absolutely amazing! And you’re right–it’s totally a perfect warm, comforting winter food.

  8. 5 stars
    Oh my … as soon as I saw your photo, it brought back so many memories! My nonna in Calabria used to make a similiar sauce over polenta. I can still taste it. I enjoy eating polenta but I haven’t made it in years. My boys didn’t like it when they were younger. I should reintroduce it and this is the perfect dish! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! 🙂

    1. Hi Rosa, so glad I could bring back good memories. You never know your boys might enjoy it now. Let me know if you try it. Have a great week.

      1. Hi Rosemary! I’m making the sauce right now and it smells divine!!! It tastes just like the one one my nonna in Calabria used to make! The sauce is for Sunday so I haven’t made the polenta yet’ but I have no doubt that it will taste delicious. ? Thanks again for sharing this delightful recipe!!!

      2. Hi Rosa, so glad to hear that. Let me know how it goes? Happy Sunday Dinner. Have a great weekend.

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.