*Polenta with Pork Ribs (Abruzzi, Lazio)

*Polenta with Pork Ribs (Abruzzi, Lazio)

Classic Central Appennine Dish.


- 3 1/2 lbs of pork ribs or 12 sausages
- 1 lb of polenta
- 1/2 onion
- 3 1/2 oz of pancetta
- 1/2 carrot
- 3 1/2 lbs tomato sauce
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of wine
- grated pecorino (sheep) cheese
- salt, pepper


Clean the pork ribs or sausages and saute' in a clay pot using 2 tblsps of olive oil, the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. After sauteing a few minutes, add the white wine and cook down for about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and simmer for about 2 hours.

In a separate clay pot, cook the polenta in 1 1/2 quarts of water, stirring continually until done. Pour the polenta onto a large wooden board and spread it out immediately so that you obtain a 1/2 inch thick layer of medium consistency polenta. In the middle, add the meat and tomato sauce and spread it out. The final outcome should look like a large pizza that serves six people. Traditionally, people sit around this large board and each eats a wedge they cut out for themselves. Alternatively, you may pour the polenta spread and sauce onto 6 plate size cutting boards. Sprinkle with abundant pecorino cheese when ready to serve. Serves six.