Last year whilst living in Melbourne, we dined at The Meatball and Wine Bar, and I had my first experience of creamy polenta! It’s safe to say, after one bite I was sold!! One of my favourite things to eat in life is creamy mash potato, and polenta has the same consistency, but tastes even better. That’s a big statement from me!
Sadly we had not tasted it again since that wonderful day a year ago. So when my parents were in town last weekend visiting, we decided to try our hand at making our own. And I know I say this with every recipe I publish, but… IT’S SO EASY!
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 500g pork mince
- 50g bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 6 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 2 onions, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- Half a handful of chopped parsley
- Handful of basil leaves, left whole
- 1 courgette
- 200g polenta
- 800ml cold water
- Generous knob of butter
- 100g parmesan, finely grated
- Add tomatoes, onions, half the courgette (chopped), 2 cloves of garlic (left whole), half of the thyme and half of the basil leaves into a roasting dish, with 1tbsp olive oil. Stir and roast in oven at 200 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Whilst this is roasting, mix together pork mince, breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped), fennel seeds, parsley and half of the thyme.
- Knead together into one large ball, and then split into 12, to ensure everything is mixed evenly throughout.
- Once your vegetable mix has been in the oven for 15 minutes, add 1tbsp olive oil to a large pan on a medium heat, and add the meatballs. Try not to move them at first, allow to brown (approx 5 mins), before gently rolling them onto their other side and cooking for a further 5 mins. Before turning add the other half of your courgette, chopped into small quarters.
- Remove vegetables from the oven and transfer into a blender/chopper. Add the other half of fresh basil and blitz. Add to pan of meatballs, stir together and reduce heat. Simmer for roughly 5 minutes (until polenta is done).
- Add 200g of polenta to another pan with 800g cold water, and a knob of butter. Bring to the boil, whisking continuously to prevent any lumps. Once it begins to thicken, add parmesan, continue to whisk and reduce heat.
- Serve by spooning polenta onto plate, placing meatballs on top and drizzling with any extra tomato mix. Add basil leaves to garnish.