Ciao! My name is Yolanda and I'd like to welcome you to my Blog! I have always had a love for cooking, baking and eating. This blog is mainly a place for me to record and share precious family recipes from those living and deceased as well as delicious recipes that my friends have given me throughout the years.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Carpinone Style Polenta

As most of you know, my mom was born and raised in the Region of Molise, Italy in a Little village of 1500 people called Carpinone.  Her village is surrounded by farm land, stone houses, spring water and beautiful mountains.  The majority of the people in this village are not at all rich, but the food they eat is fresh and home grown.  The food they served always depended on the season and what they sold at the market or found in their gardens.  One of those staple foods my mom grew up with was Polenta.  Polenta is basically corn meal and it can be made in many different ways.  In the town my Nonna (grandma) grew up in, a village called Castelpetrosa, they make their Polenta harder and then would slice it with dental floss like string and make a Lasagna with it.  In my mom's village Carpinone, they like it soft and it is eaten with fresh tomato sauce, made with fresh Mushrooms grown on top of the mountains and topped with Sausage.  My mom said they would eat this at least once a week and she remembers getting up early to make it with my Nonna.  They would cook it in a large pot over the fire in their fireplace.   Since this was a staple in her home growing up, of course it was also one in mine growing up as well, so I learned to love eating it. My mom always spread it out on a wooden board and topped it with sauce, grated cheese, and Italian Sausage.  When we had company they would request this, as it is not only delicious, but fun to eat together as well.  The other day my mom made this for my family and it was my husbands first time having it.  My whole family devoured it and my husband of course, being the carnivore that he is, ate a little bite and then just at all the sausage off the top.  I guess Polenta is just not his thing ha ha, but I was proud of him for trying it!  Next time  you have your family coming over, try making this, as it is a fun and rustic meal to share with your family or friends. 
Eating Polenta off the board as a child 

From Left to right: My Grandfather Sebastiano, me, my brother Sebastian, and my mother Lucia
* 12 cups of water 
* 2 tsp of Sea Salt 
* 1 lb of Corn Meal 
* About 3-4 cups of sauce (my mom makes a homemade marinara with Shataki
 * Freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
* About 5-6 Italian Sausage Links,sliced (baked or grilled (my mom baked hers with sweet bell peppers and sage) 
* Take your cooked Sausage, cut it into slices and set it aside or in the oven to stay warm.
*Fill a large pot with 12 cups of water until it comes to a boil
*Once it comes to a boil, add salt 
* Turn the heat on med low and slowly whisk the Polenta in the water a 
handful at a time, until all the Polenta is eventually in there. It is important to only do a handful at a time so that there are no lumps 
* This step should take about 15 minutes.
* Now switch to a wooden Spoon and let cook while continuing to stir for
another 15-20 minutes. Make sure you keep stirring it to prevent lumps.
(It may look done, but it's not. It is important to make sure the Polenta is 
well cooked)
* Next, spread the Polenta onto a Large Wooden Board (If you do not have a
large wooden Board, individual plates are fine.  
* Spread a layer of sauce on top
* Generously sprinkle your Grated Cheese all over the top (half of the one 
shown has no cheese, because somebody didn't want any :/)
* Spread your Pieces of Sausage over the top.
* Enjoy eating this right off the board with a fork or get a spatula and serve
yourself some some onto a plate! Either way its delicious!
* A salad goes really well with this meal!


Molly said...

The first time I ever had polenta was at your house as a little girl! delish

Yolanda said...

Haha Molly...I think my mom made it for your entire family one night!