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Baked Stuffed Polenta

Like pastry-less pies, these mounds of polenta are filled with a mixture of Italian pork sausage and rapini (broccoli rabe). Crisp on the outside, soft and yielding in the centre, the polenta pouches are delicious served atop a chickpea and vegetable puree.

SERVES: 6
PREPARATION: 30MIN
COOKING: 50MIN
SKILL LEVEL: EASY

Ingredients

  • Polenta
  • 200 g instant polenta
  • 800 ml water
  • pinch of salt
  • Filling 
    • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 300 g pork sausage meat, out of its casing, cut into small pieces
    • 1 kg rapini (broccoli rabe)
    • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
    • salt and pepper for seasoning
    • 100 ml dry white wine
    • Chickpea puree
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
    • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
    • 2 x 400 g tins chickpeas, well drained and rinsed
    • salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. To make the filling, brown the sausage meat with the chillies in extra-virgin olive oil over medium/high heat for 3-4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine, allow to bubble away for a few minutes, then turn the heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Blanch the rapini in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water to prevent the greens from discolouring. Add the sausage meat, mix through, taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place the water and the polenta in a medium sized non-stick pot, add a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the polenta is soft and creamy.
  3. Oil 6 individual ramekins and dust them with polenta flour or breadcrumbs. Spread a few tablespoons of polenta in the ramekin to create a shell to incase the filling in. Add 1-2 tablespoons of filling, top with one extra tablespoon of soft polenta to create a lid. Repeat with the remaining ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and delicious.
  4. To make the chickpea puree, stir-fry onion, carrot and celery in extra-virgin olive oil until soft. Add the drained chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper then blitz the chickpea mixture in a food processor until smooth. If too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water.
  5. To assemble the dish, spread 2-3 tablespoons of chickpea puree onto a plate, take the tortino out of the ramekin and sit it on top of the puree. Serve with a side of baked potato or a green salad.

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.