I looooove polenta and my normal method of preparation is to just throw in a ton of butter and cheese and stick some ragu on top. However, I came across a recipe in ‘Two Greedy Italians eat Italy’ and felt inspired to try a new take on it. The two greedy Italians in question are Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo. Carluccio’s was one of the better food chains in the UK and Gennaro is Jamie Oliver’s bestie. I went to a food festival run by Jamie Oliver once and will never forget Gennaro being asked what his favourite vegetable was and responding with epic enthusiasm ‘Iiia laaaava brocolli’ – that was my attempt at transcribing the Italian accent. This is a great tasty recipe for vegetarians as the beans provide the much-needed protein. Using quick cook polenta would probably have been a bit easier but I couldn’t find any.
Serves 4 – 6
- 2 tins haricot beans
- spray oil
- 1 onion
- 1 stick celery
- 1 leek
- 1 carrot
- 4 rashers plant based bacon
- 15 cherry tomatoes
- 500g ready prepared polenta
- 1 tbsp chicken flavoured stock
- 10g parsley
- 80g parmesan/fontina
1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
2.) For the polenta, put the polenta in a pan and add 250ml boiling water and the stock powder. Simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
3.) Peel and chop the carrot, leek and onion, chop up the stick of celery
4.) Fry the carrot, leek, onion and celery until soft.
5.) Chop up the fake bacon and add to the pan
6.) Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the pan with some salt. Cook until starting to break down.
7.) Grate the parmesan
8.) Mash up the polenta in the pan with a fork then use a whisk to combine the water and polenta. Add the cheese to the polenta.
9.) Drain the tins of beans and mix with the tomato mix.
10.) Chop up the parsley and add to the tomatoes and beans. Stir until all warmed through.
11.) Mix the tomato and bean mix with the polenta and pour the lot into a baking dish.
12.) Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. (My baking dish was quite deep but if it’s larger and more shallow, less time would be needed).