For the Polenta:
– 1 kg (35 oz) chestnut flour
– 4 litres of mineral water (still)
For the pancetta and balsamic vinegar:
– 10 oz of pancetta
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- Boil the water in a large saucepan and add salt. Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour into a copper pot.
- Add the flour (previously sieved) and with a wooden paddle, create a hole in the middle of the mixture so that the water begins to bubble over. Place on the stove and simmer slowly for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and beat vigorously with the paddle /wooden spoon until the polenta forms a smooth firm consistency. Place the mixture on a wooden board, and shape into a large ball with your hands (cold water will help keep your hands cool)
- Allow to cool for half an hour.
- In the meantime, cut the pancetta into small cubes and saute in a frying pan with the olive oil.
- Once the pancetta has turned a golden brown, splash the balsamic vinegar into the pan and allow the pancetta to caramelise with the sweet vinegar. It is now ready to serve with the polenta.
- Assemble the dish onto a plate: a wedge of polenta , pancetta and a fresh slice of ricotta cheese. The flavours will balance each other perfectly and all you need is a generous drizzle of olive oil and some herbs to garnish (thyme and marjoram) .
Recipe provided by Emilia Benericetti, Piano Rosso, Marradi