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Polenta Pasticciata alla Triestina

1 pound red ripe Italian tomatoes
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 grated carrot
2 ounces porcini mushrooms, soaked
1/2 pound sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red wine
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Prepare a tomato sauce by blanching tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and peel. Chop and reserve.

Cook sausage. Drain off fat.

Saute onion, carrot, drained porcini, cremini mushrooms and garlic in the oil until onion is transparent.

Add cooked sausage. Add wine and let it evaporate. Add prepared tomatoes and hot pepper flakes. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add tomato sauce and cook for 20 minutes. Chop parsley and add. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 more minutes. Reserve.

Classic Polenta:
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup fine cornmeal
1 cup course cornmeal
1/4 cup whole milk

Heat water in a deep pot. Add salt and butter. Slowly, in a steady stream, add cornmeal while constantly whisking. Lower the heat to low, being very careful not to let mixture burn.

Switch to a wooden spoon and continue to stir until polenta mixture comes away from the sides of the pot. Add milk and stir until mixture pulls away from the pot again. Usually it takes 45 minutes to cook.

Pour the cooked polenta on a wet marble slab. Smooth the polenta with a spatula (dipped frequently in hot water) to a 1-inch thickness. Cover with foil and reserve.

Slice polenta with a piece of string. Place on an oiled baking dish. Cover with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

Sunday, April 08, 2001

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