• Pasta Grammar

Polenta with Ragù | Italian Polenta with Meat Sauce Recipe

This is how polenta is typically served in central Italy: soft and creamy, topped with a hearty meat ragù and grated cheese. To serve it in the traditional manner, pour the polenta onto a big cutting board and serve it in the center of the table! Note that the meat from the ragù is always served separately, as a second course.



Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:




Serves 4.


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 pork spare ribs

  • 1 large Italian sausage

  • 1/4 onion, diced

  • 1/2 large carrot, diced

  • 1/2 celery stalk, diced

  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine

  • 28 oz. (400g) pure tomato purée

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • Salt

  • 1 1/2 cup (250g) fine polenta

  • Grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for topping


In a large pot, bring the olive oil up to medium/high heat. Add the pork ribs and sausage. Turning frequently with tongs, brown the meat evenly on all sides. Add the diced onion, carrot and celery, and sauté with the meat until the onion is tender and slightly transparent.



Pour in the red wine and bring it to a brisk simmer. Let the alcohol boil off for about 10 minutes, then add the tomato purée and paste, plus 1/4 cup (60ml) of water.



Bring the ragù to a simmer, salt it lightly to taste (be aware it will thicken), partially cover the pot and let it cook for at least an hour and a half, or until the sauce thickens to your liking. Taste the sauce and salt it again to taste. If you trust your sense of timing, you can cook the polenta as the ragù nears completion so that they finish at the same time. Otherwise, you can always finish the sauce and just keep it warm while preparing the polenta.




Cook the polenta as directed, but use 50% more water than what is recommended on the package as the final result should be thinner than a "normal" polenta. Pour the finished porridge onto a large cutting board or serving tray, top with ragù sauce (save the meat for a second course!) and a generous grating of cheese.



Buon appetito!



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