My favorite comfort food?
Polenta with meat sauce: a dish easy to make and that you can improvise at any time. You just need a jar of good frozen Bolognese sauce in the freezer, cornmeal, a wooden spoon, and elbow grease.
A final sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano and the dish is ready.
Of course, it will take at least 1 hour to make some real polenta, you will mix like crazy, but it’s worth it. More than a recipe, polenta with Bolognese meat sauce is a lifestyle, a mystical journey…
As for seasoning we chose a Bolognese-like sauce, but spicier, with good fat content due to the bacon. We are in winter, let us dream, please. Otherwise, add sausage instead of minced pork or you can use tofu and seitan and a good pinch of cumin and cinnamon to add some pepper.
Ingredients for making polenta with Bolognese meat sauce
- 500 grams of cornflour
- 2,5 liters of water
- 12 grams of coarse salt
For making Bolognese sauce
- 120 grams of butter
- 200 grams of Parmigiano Reggiano
- 300 grams of minced beef
- 300 grams of minced pork
- 100 grams of smoked bacon
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 300 ml of tomato sauce
- 80 grams of tomato paste
- 25 grams of butter
- 4 spoons of olive oil
- 1 bay leaf for flavoring (optional)
- ½ glass of red wine
- ½ glass of meat broth
- salt and pepper as required
- 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- sprinkled with nutmeg
- no milk!
How to make polenta with Bolognese meat sauce
Wash and chop the onion, carrot, garlic, and celery, then sauté gently in butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. 10 minutes, very low heat and add a ladle of broth of water if necessary.
Throw in the bacon and the meat, cook for 10 minutes, then deglaze with a glass of wine and let it evaporate.
Season with salt, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, add the tomato sauce and paste, broth, bay leaf, stir and cook for 3 hours.
Remember to stir from time to time.
Milk is not needed, we do not want a creamy sauce and with all these spices it is better not to create an aromatic mess.
Making the ragù, in the end, becomes an excuse to prepare polenta, so you have to wait and in the meantime, you can go ahead with the preparation.
It will take an hour to make polenta, so try to coordinate the two recipes.
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, put in 10 grams of salt, wait for it to boil again, then pour the cornflour little by little, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Stir for 1 hour, but take a few breaks, stay near the stove: you can read a book in the meantime.
It is not necessary to keep stirring like a rabid monkey: just be sure polenta does not stick to the bottom and everything is gonna be fine.
After 60 minutes, season with salt and pepper, 60 grams of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, stir, put two ladles of polenta in a dish and pour over a generous dose of ragù. Then the coup de grace: the final Parmigiano Reggiano shower.
If you are not afraid of cholesterol you can also make a Bolognese sauce with sausage and extra meatballs, only if you have to climb Everest!
Which wine goes well with polenta with Bolognese meat sauce?
We have plenty of choices when it comes to picking a bottle of wine for polenta. As long as they have firm tannins and good freshness we are ok: Barbera, Barolo, Sagrantino, Cabernet Franc, Merlot. We fly to Puglia to uncork a great Primitivo, the Bacmione from the Mille Uva winery: a robust wine with a great balsamic charm.