Roast pork and canapes: Conor Gadd’s polenta recipes | Italian food and drinks

Whenever I’m writing menus for the colder months, my thoughts all the time wanders to 1 ingredient specifically: polenta. It has versatility in spades, from the wealthy, dairy-laden yellow model you get within the north of Italy to the lighter, white polenta of the south, and it actually does cowl all bases. As an ingredient, it’s low cost as they arrive and, whereas it may be a helpful automobile for different flavours, the new-season yellow polenta calls for belief from its chef. Little or no is required to usher it from bag to plate, so it’s not solely versatile in what it may be served with, but in addition in how it may be cooked.

Crisp polenta with parmesan and anchovy

Conor Gadd’s crisp polenta with parmesan and anchovy. {Photograph}: Ola O Smit/The Guardian

All the time attempt to purchase natural, unprocessed cornmeal; it’s far superior to the moment, processed selection, and provides a way more gratifying texture and flavour. These work brilliantly as a starter or canape.

Prep 2 min
Cook dinner 1 hr 10 min
Serves 3-4

200g polenta
, to serve
Anchovy fillets in oil, drained, to serve

Carry 750ml water to a boil, then whisk within the polenta, cut back to a simmer and prepare dinner, stirring sometimes so it doesn’t catch on the underside of the pan, for 45 minutes. As soon as the polenta is tremendous thick (assume cement), spoon it on to a flat roasting tray, unfold out evenly and go away to chill.

As soon as the polenta is chilly and set, break it into uneven items, then roast in a 240C (220C fan)/475F/gasoline 9 oven for 15-20 minutes, till crisp. To serve, grate lashings of parmesan over every shard of polenta and lay an anchovy fillet on prime. Open a chilly beer and tuck in.

Delicate polenta with pork fillet and salsa verde

Prep 15 min
Marinate 12 hrs +
Cook dinner 50 min
Serves 3-4

The polenta will already be stuffed with goodness/fattiness, so it’s finest to serve it with a lean reduce of meat. Ideally, marinate the pork in a single day.

For the polenta
200g polenta
50g uns
alted butter
30g parmesan
, grated
Salt and black pepper

For the salsa verde
25g picked flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
25g picked mint, finely chopped
25g picked tarragon, finely chopped
10g capers, drained, rinsed and finely chopped
10g cornichons, drained and finely chopped
10g anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped
2 tbsp dijon mustard
10ml good olive oil
5ml red-wine vinegar

For the pork
600g pork fillet, trimmed
Oil, for frying
Zest of 1 lemon
garlic clove, peeled and crushed
5 sage leaves

In a bowl, mix the pork fillet, lemon zest, garlic and sage, then cowl and put within the fridge in a single day.

For the salsa verde, combine the herbs with the capers, cornichons, anchovies and mustard, then stir within the oil and vinegar till the combo comes collectively.

Carry 1.2 litres of water to a boil, then whisk within the polenta, cut back the warmth and prepare dinner, stirring each couple of minutes so its consistency stays easy, for 45 minutes, till thick.

Put just a little oil in a heavy-based frying pan on a medium warmth, then fry the pork fillet, turning each 90 seconds, for eight to 10 minutes, till it’s golden brown throughout and cooked by way of. Go away to relaxation for 3 minutes.

As soon as the polenta is thick, shiny and unctuous, beat within the butter and the parmesan, and season. Hold whisking and, as soon as the parmesan and butter have melted, use a scorching spoon to dish up the polenta. Because it hits the plate, it ought to recline as one does on an armchair after a protracted day.

Slice the pork, prepare it on prime of the polenta and serve with the salsa verde spooned over the meat.

Conor Gadd is head chef of Trullo, London N1