Sunday, April 13, 2008
I cleaned out my pantry this weekend and discovered all kinds of good stuff that I had forgotten about. Behind a giant canister of Quaker oats, I found an unopened bag of polenta. I must have bought it in the fall sometime. I've never cooked polenta before (well, besides the preformed slice-and-serve kind), so I was a little hesitant because I thought it would be hard. But having made it now (both creamy and the harder kind, thanks to a misprint in the recipe I was using), I can pleasantly say that this is easy enough for a weeknight meal when I barely feel like cooking. Plus, it's always good to find a new way to eat one of my favorite combos, arugula and pecorino.
Creamy polenta with arugula and bacon
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup polenta
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 large bunch of arugula (about 1/2 pound), well washed and dried
- shredded pecorino romano
- olive oil
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add polenta in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and add a hefty pinch of salt. Stir frequently to prohibit sticking. The polenta is done when big lava-like bubbles form and the grains are no longer hard. Stir in parmesan and set aside.
In a saute pan, fry bacon on medium heat until the meat is nicely browned. Pour off as much fat as possible, then add arugula and let it wilt. Add a little of the bacon fat back in if it seems too dry.
To serve, heap the polenta on a dish and top with the arugula and bacon mixture. Sprinkle with shredded or shaved pecorino romano and drizzle with olive oil.