Chestnut Polenta with Pancetta, Balsamic Vinegar, and Ricotta: Pattona

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
Prep:
10 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
about 8 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • For the Polenta:
  • 1 gallon plus 1 cup (4 litres) mineral water
  • Salt
  • 35 ounces (1 kilogram) chestnut flour, sifted
  • For the pancetta and balsamic vinegar:
  • 10 ounces pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Ricotta Salata, sliced
  • Thyme, for garnish
  • Marjoram, for garnish
Directions
  • Boil the water in a large saucepan and add salt. Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour into a copper pot. Add the flour and, with a wooden paddle, create a hole in the middle of the mixture so that the water begins to bubble over. Place on the stove and simmer slowly for 40 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and beat vigorously with the paddle/wooden spoon until the polenta forms a smooth, firm consistency. Place the mixture on a wooden board, and shape into a large ball with your hands (cold water will help keep your hands cool). Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

  • In the meantime, cut the pancetta into small cubes and saute in a frying pan with the olive oil. Once the pancetta has turned a golden brown, splash the balsamic vinegar into the pan and allow the pancetta to caramelise with the sweet vinegar. It is now ready to serve with the polenta.

  • Assemble the dish onto a plate: a wedge of polenta , pancetta and a fresh slice of ricotta cheese. The flavours will balance each other perfectly and all you need is a generous drizzle of olive oil and thyme and marjoram to garnish.


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