Entree - gluten free
Ingredients for polenta:
3 qt. water
1 lb. corn flour for polenta
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the bolognese:
1/2 lb of mixed ground beef (not too lean, not too fat)
1 or 2 sweet sausages, chopped
3 tbsp of a mix of onions, carrots, celery and parsley, finely minced
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 24oz cans/bottles of peeled San Marzano or strained tomatoes
1 cup of white wine, if desired
First of all, prepare the bolognese. In a big saucepan over medium heat warm the olive oil; when the oil is hot, put the vegetables and sautee them for 3-4 minutes. Then add ground beef and sausages and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring them frequently to avoid sticking.
At this point you can add wine (always on high heat), in a couple of minutes the alcohol will evaporate, leaving just the flavor; turn the heat to medium and add the tomatoes.
Season with salt, pepper if desired, and, when it starts boiling, turn heat to minimum and cook the sauce for at least 2 1/2 hours (the longer, the better) stirring occasionally.
Remember that it's better to cook this sauce for a longer time at the lowest heat possible instead of cooking it quickly.
Don't worry about the wine, as said the alcohol evaporates, leaving just its flavor.
While the bolognese cooks, prepare the polenta. Put a large pot with 3 qt. water to a boil.
When the water boils, add salt and slowly add polenta flour in a thin stream, whisking to avoid lumps; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes whisking frequently; reduce heat to simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, whisking occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Remember: polenta will never be overcooked.
When polenta is cooked, transfer it in a rectangular or square baking dish and let it cool down to room temperature.
If you want a softer polenta, use a little more water; if you want it harder, use a little less water or cook it for a longer time, so that water will evaporate more.
Assemble your dish.
Preheat oven to 375
Cut polenta in half inch slices; grease a baking dish and line its bottom with polenta slices, top with bolognese, dices mozzarella and sprinkle with parmigiano.
Repeat using all ingredients.
Bake for 25-30 minutes and serve immediately.
- You can prepare both sauce and polenta the day before and just assemble the dish, the day you'll be serving it.
- In order to obtain a crustier top, mix parmigiano and Italian breadcrumbs (NOT flavored) in equal parts and use it for the final sprinkling.
- This is a gluten free dish, if you don't use breadcrumbs.