Saturday, February 16, 2008

Last dinner for one.

Wanted to do something simple and hearty. I've had variations on this dish a few times now during my stay. Usually it's done as a lasagna with layers of polenta cake, ragu and bechamel. But i'm craving mushrooms, pancetta and creaminess.

Prima: The four p's
Sausage infused polenta cake with porcini, pancetta and parmasan bechamel

Recipe: depends on portions needed.
Polenta cake
-Rehydrate dried porcini mushrooms in hot water.
-Saute sausage meat with minced shallot and sage in pan using butter.
-When sausage meat is broken up and just cooked through add water following instant polenta recipe on box. When water is boiling stir in instant polenta and follow directions to finish.
-In oiled small rectangular pan, pour in polenta sausage mix and smooth out to fill pan.
Ideally you want a polenta cake 1" high.
-Cover with cling wrap and into fridge at least 1 hour to chill.
-When firm, remove pan and cut polenta into individual portioned squares.

Bechamel sauce
-Saute till cooked; minced pancetta, shallot, and rough chopped porcini mushrooms in at least 2 tablespoons butter.
-Stir in same amount flour as butter and stir to blond color.
-Add some vin santo or white wine, at least 1 cup mushroom water and milk or cream.
-Raise heat and whisk well to create bechamel. (Check online for exact ratio for your servings.)
-Add grated parmasan and touch grated nutmeg to bechamel. Mix well.
-Reduce heat and keep warm.

-In new pan with little butter, pan fry polenta cake both sides to reheat and lightly brown.
-Plate the polenta cake and spoon over bechamel sauce.
-Garnish with fresh or fried sage leaves or just some parsley.


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