ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT POLENTA!
Sometimes Northern Italians were called “Polentoni” (Polenta heads) as a derogatory term by the Southerners who never ate Polenta! In fact, we often eat polenta when we go up to the higher altitudes in the alpine valleys and make it ourselves a few times a year once the temperatures start dropping. We have chosen polenta to be in our Thanksgiving basket as a sort replacement for cornbread.
MAIS OTTOFILE – CASCINA DELLE GRAZIE
Hunting for artisanal and authentic ingredients is one of Barolo Wine Club’s favorite pastimes! We found Matteo from Cascina delle Grazia many years ago and visited his farm in the Alta Langa, where farmers lived the hard life. The farm grows a special ancient variety of corn called Ottofile which only has 8 rows of corn per cob. It obviously produces less quantity and has been replanted year by year with a selection of seeds coming from the year’s best corn cobs. The locals have protected this variety from getting into the hands of the international seed market so they can preserve this little part of the culture. This is ground in an old stone mill with extremely slow rotations to obtain a hearty and nutritious polenta transporting you back in time.
POLENTA RECIPE – HOW TO MAKE POLENTA
500 grams of polenta flour
2.5 Lt or 10 Metric cups of water
1 drop of olive oil
1 pinch of salt
4 FORMAGGI SAUCE
Cubes of Asiago, Fontina or other melting cheese, soft gorgonzola and Parmesan shavings.
Heat up water in pot until simmering. Add big pinch of salt, drop of olive oil and start sprinkling the polenta in the water while whisking vigorously as not to form clumps while bringing it to a boil. Once you have added all the polenta, with a wooden spoon you can stir for 40 minutes on medium flame or put the lid on with low flame and check periodically.
After approximately 50 minutes of cooking, stir energetically on higher flame. Check for salt and add if necessary. The polenta is ready when it tastes cooked and all the water has evaporated. Sauces are endless for a creamy bowl of polenta.
We love sausage ragu and the hedonistic cheese sauces. With bagna maria, melt cheese in a small pot over boiling water and create your perfect cheese sauce to pour on top. You can add some milk or cream if it is too thick and sprinkle some black pepper on top to cut the cheesiness.
WHAT WINE TO PAIR WITH POLENTA
The Pairing really depends on the sauce but I would say for both a sausage ragu or a creamy cheese sauce a Langhe Nebbiolo would be perfect! It has enough structure to match the proteins from the meats a/o cheeses but with enough acid to cut the fat,cleansing the palate and warming the heart!
Wine Suggestion from our Thanksgiving pack: Delinquent – Monferrato Nebbiolo Superiore 2019