Polenta with tuscan kale

Polenta with tuscan kale

Farinata con cavolo nero

By
From
Florentine
Serves
4
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

This warming, hearty, soft polenta dish can be repurposed the next day if there are any leftovers. Simply pour the polenta into a baking dish and smooth over. The next day, the polenta will be set and firm so you can cut them into small squares or rectangles, and grill or fry them and eat them like crostini, perhaps topped with some sugo toscano (meat sauce). This is almost a reason in itself to make a larger batch so you are sure to have leftovers.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
40g pancetta, roughly chopped
1 bunch cavolo nero, veins and stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 litre vegetable stock
300g drained, tinned cannellini beans
or 300g * stewed cannellini beans [rid:32383]
180g polenta
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

Method

  1. Gently cook the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in the olive oil over a low heat until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the pancetta, cook for a further 2–3 minutes, then add the cavolo nero, tomato paste and stock (if using tinned beans). Traditionally, you would use the liquid leftover from stewing the dried beans, which is thick and very flavourful, so use this if you have it but stock or water can take its place.
  2. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 15–20 minutes, or until the cavolo nero is tender. Then add the drained beans and the polenta, and stir until combined. Simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is cooked (it should feel creamy in the mouth, not grainy). Add water if it gets thicker than a porridge consistency.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil.
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