Recipe: Polenta - fried

Rating: 4.6 stars based on 1094 reviews


  • For the polenta
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, OR a good pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 150g quick-cook polenta
  • 100g strong Cheddar or well-flavoured, hard goat’s cheese, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 140g/5oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 slice prosciutto, chopped
  • 40g/1½oz mozzarella chopped
  • 2 large handfuls spinach


  • To make the polenta, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and chilli and sweat gently for a couple of minutes – don’t let the garlic colour. Add the rosemary and remove from the heat.
  • Pour 800ml water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Now pour in the polenta in a thin stream, stirring all the time. When smooth, allow it to return to a simmer. Cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring often, and then remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the garlic, chilli and rosemary mixture, and then add the grated cheese and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Tip the polenta on to a cold surface, such as a plate or a marble slab, and spread it smoothly into an even disc, about 2cm thick. Leave to cool completely.
  • When the polenta is cool and firm, cut into slices or wedges. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and fry the polenta pieces for 2–3 minutes each side, until they have a light, golden brown crust.
  • Serve topped with the hot tomato sauce.


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