This fried polenta cake recipe can be an amazing side dish or the star of the plate. Fried until crispy brown and adorned with a rich topping of sauteed mushrooms, onions and prosciutto with a touch of Marsala wine.
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Honestly polenta, where have you been all of my life?
I’ve heard your name thrown around here and there but never actually had the pleasure of meeting you until recently. You are amazing, I love you.
Has this ever happened to you? You finally try a dish you’ve only heard about only to find that it is incredible and you privately scold yourself for not discovering this sooner. Whatever.
Recently I wrote about how to make an easy, basic polenta. I really enjoyed this dish so I delved a little deeper. The mushroom and prosciutto versions of this dish is an Italian classic.
You do need to fry the polenta first before adorning your beloved polenta cakes with this earthy topping. Let me warn you now, frying polenta in hot oil is quite the experience. It has a high moisture content so be ready. You are going to need a splash screen and an apron. In fact, just take off your favorite shirt right now and put on your torn t-shirt from high school, seriously.
This recipe is best suited for leftover polenta. You can make this same day, it would turn into a sub recipe/two part process kind of thing. If you make creamy polenta and have leftovers, simply pour the leftovers into such a dish that will give you 1/4 – 1/2 inch sized polenta cakes. When you refrigerate leftover creamy polenta, it becomes a dense polenta cake, perfect for frying. If you have a lot, you may simply cut them into smaller squares.
This recipe is adapted from Biba’s Taste of Italy: Recipes from the Homes, Trattorie and Restaurants of Emilia-Romagna. Biba uses dried porcini mushrooms. I don’t have any near me so I used simple, white button mushrooms. She always has some on hand so that she can cook with mushrooms whenever she wants, she simply re-hydrates them. My eyes are peeled for these mushrooms because if Biba uses them, they must be good, right?
I am crazy in love with polenta right now so if you have a favorite recipe for leftover polenta, please share in the comments below. Grazie mille!