Looking for something a little corny and a little porky? Look no further. This recipe is from the cookbook Marcella's Italian Kitchen. The preparation is a little extensive, so this will be a weekend meal for us, but the left-over potential is promising. It can be prepared largely in advance, but she doesn't recommend overnight refrigeration because it changes the flavor of the spinach.
First, assemble the players:
To prepare the red component:
Saute 1/2 the garlic and olive oil in a medium skillet until just barely golden. Add sprig of rosemary to the pan, then add tomatoes and cook until the oil floats free of the tomatoes, approximately 2 minutes over medium heat. Remove rosemary and set sauce aside.
To prepare the green component:
Add the spinach with just the wash water clinging to the leaves to a pan, seasoning with salt more liberally than usual because this will be combined with the polenta. Once spinach is wilted, drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Chop very fine with a knife (do not liquify in food processor).
Saute the remaining 1/2 of the garlic slices in 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet until just golden, then remove from heat. Add spinach and stir briefly to combine. Set aside.
To prepare the pork filling:
In another skillet, place the sliced onion and 3 tbsp EVOO. Place the pan over low heat, cover, and let the onions become very soft. Uncover the pan, add herbes de Province and saute over medium heat until the onion is a pale nut brown.
Add the meat to the onions and cook, breaking up pork, until well done. Add the wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced away to almost no moisture, add the pine nuts, stir briefly to combine, then remove from heat. Set aside.
To prepare the polenta:
Bring salted water to a boil in a broad pot with a heavy bottom. Once boiling, add cornmeal in a thin trickle while stirring constantly. Once all cornmeal has been added, reduce heat and continue stirring constantly until thickened and mixture comes away from the sides of the pan easily. The constant stirring is critical for non-lumpy polenta, and it doubles as a good workout for the upper body. Switching arms midway through helps to maintain even arm tone and reduce fatigue, as this process takes 30-40 minutes.
Ok, so now it is time to assemble. Phew! First, preheat the oven to 450ºF.
As soon as the polenta is cooked, divide into two portions. Add the red to one, and the green to the other. Mix each well. From this point forward, you want to work relatively quickly so the polenta doesn't cool and become difficult to work with.
Smear the bottom of a 10" springform pan with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 the bread crumbs.
Add the red polenta to the bottom of the springform pan. Cover with 1/2 of the grated parm, then the ground pork mixture, then the remaining parm. Top with the green polenta, then remaining bread crumbs, and a little drizzle of EVOO.
Bake this bad boy for 20-25 minutes until warmed through and browned on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before unmolding. Serve in wedges like a savory cake. Enjoy!
Making the polenta this way with this amount of water takes quite a while. To speed things up (but increase the risk of lumps), you can use less water when making the polenta.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (2403g)|
|Recipe Makes: 8 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 262 (21%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 29.1g||39 %|
|Saturated Fat 7.5g||38 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 15.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 4g|
|Cholesterol 42.2mg||13 %|
|Sodium 213.6mg||7 %|
|Potassium 3579.6mg||94 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 227.3g||67 %|
|Dietary Fiber 39g||156 %|
|Sugars, other 188.3g|
|Protein 38.1g||54 %|
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Calories per serving: 1263
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