Saturday, May 21

Sartu di polenta

I got an inspiration for this dish while watching "Giada in Italy" making Sartu di riso, festive Italian dish, similar to timpano/timbale.

Sartu di riso, as it says made with rice. I'm not that big fan of rice, and I thought why it wouldn't be possible to make it with polenta instead of rice.
It turned out actually possible and tasty. And it really looks spectacular before and after the cutting.

So the basic principle of this dish is made an outside layer from rice, or someting similar and fill it with meat, cheese, tomato etc.., and than cover it with layer of rice again and bake in the oven so that you get like a cake that has layers of the colorfull filling inside and outside is the layer that protect that filling from running out. Timpano/ timbale has pastry layer, sartu di riso has rice. I made this cake with polenta.

You need Bundt pan deep dish that has a hole in the middle.


2 cups of instant polenta
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup sheep feta cheese


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1lb turky meatballs
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
2 sprigs basil
One 2-inch piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
One large can of crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
7 tablespoons fine breadcrumb
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 leak 
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 boiled eggs
One 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, or curd cheese
or any other soft cheese cut in little cubes





In a large saucepan combine the chicken broth, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Take it off the stove and add instant polenta. Cook on the stove for few minutes, untill the liquid is absorbed.Stir in cheeses until is well combined, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using 1 tablespoon of the butter, grease the inside of a Bundt pan or a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven, making sure to coat it very well. Dust the inside of the pan with 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs. Make sure it is evenly coated without bald spots. This is very important to prevent sticking. You an add aluminum foil that you can peel off once you take the sartu from the oven.


Add the peas, leak and diced mozzarella or other cheese to the meatballs and sauce, and toss gently to incorporate, at the end add chopped hard boiled eggs. Spoon two-thirds of the polenta mixture into the prepared bundt pan. Using damp hands, press the polenta evenly over the bottom of the pan and 2 1/2-inches up the sides and middle of the pan. Spoon the meat filling into the well of polenta and press gently to make sure it is evenly packed. Spoon the remaining polenta over the filling and, using damp hands, spread polenta evenly over the filling, being sure to press along the edges to seal. Bake until lightly browned on top, 30 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes.

Cut and serve with lettuce salad.
Buon appettito!

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