Last week my partner sent me a link to a restaurant review, which was accompanied by a photo of one of their dishes : Meatballs w/ Polenta. Maybe a hint ? So this week I decided to turn his 2D fantasy into a 3D reality!
I cooked my meatballs with a mix of quality extra lean beef & free range pork. You can make the meat balls in advance if you're pressed for time. Using polenta instead of potato mash is great, because you can pop the leftovers in a mould, let it get firm overnight, and then cut it up to grill, bake or fry! I had so much polenta left over. We had it with everything; I baked polenta fries, grilled it under eggs, crumbed and fried the stuff, you name it! The pesto I used was homemade, from the amazing crop of basil we grew last summer. We made almost a litre of pesto and froze it in portions in zip lock bags, with this one I added some frozen peas. But you could use a store-bought option if basil is not in season, or, even better, cook up a quick tomato sauce with garlic, onion and fresh tomato!
CREAMY POLENTA w MEATBALLS + PESTO
Serves 2 with leftovers
For the meatballs:
- 200g quality minced beef
- 200g minced free range pork
- A handful of rice crumbs
- 1 free-range egg
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- A handful of flat leaf parsley
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
For the polenta:
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of polenta
- A knob of butter
- Half a small tub of cream
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Sea salt
- Parmesan cheese, Pesto, Salsa Verde or Napoli sauce
- In a bowl, combine all your ingredients for the meatballs and get your hands in there to thoroughly mix it all up, then shape the balls.
- Heat a non-stick fry pan and add a little olive oil. Cook your meatballs on a medium heat until browned and cooked through, then set them aside.
- Add some water in a medium saucepan on high heat and boil. Add polenta into water like a slow waterfall, whisking the whole time. Continue whisking for a minute on high, and then turn the heat down to low, pop a lid on the saucepan and leave it for 5-10 minutes until the polenta is cooked. Once it's ready you will notice a little water resting on top of the polenta, whisk it all together again, add butter & cream and whisk some more. Add parmesan, whisk (again!), and season.
- To serve, warm the meatballs, pop some polenta into a bowl, add the balls and serve with your favourite sauce!