Truffle: Italian pork sausage on soft polenta
Sausages and truffle with soft polenta. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

This is like Italian toad in the hole: perfectly grilled Italian sausages imbedded in a pool of silky soft polenta pimped with good Italian cheeses, a little butter and a lot of truffle.

It couldn’t be easier either. The success of this dish depends on a “wet” polenta which means a ratio of liquids to polenta of about 6:1.

Serves six

INGREDIENTS

1 large coffee mug of fine white polenta (not instant).
3 large coffee mugs of milk.
3 large coffee mugs of water.
100-150g unsalted butter (the more you use the better the flavour).
150g provelone cheese.
200g Taleggio cheese (Mauri brand is the best).
Half a nutmeg, freshly ground on a microplane.
Salt and pepper.
1 truffle.
1-1.5 butcher-made Italian sausages per person (Joe Princi Butchers at Beaconsfield and Mondo Butchers at Inglewood both do a terrific fresh Italian sausage).

METHOD

Bring the water and milk to a slow boil in a large tall-sided saucepan. Slowly ‘rain’ in the polenta so that it doesn’t clump and stir over a steady slow boil for about 30 minutes, or until all the grittiness has gone from the maize.

You don’t have to stir all the time (one of the great myths of polenta cookery) just enough to ensure the polenta cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Once the polenta is cooked add the butter, cheeses and nutmeg and keep stirring until the mix comes back to temperature.

Season with salt and pepper and taste (Polenta can take a large amount of salt, so season well).

Cover and set aside, occasionally stirring off the heat to prevent a skin forming.

At the last minute add as much truffle as you feel is right or you can afford.

Meanwhile char grill or gently pan fry the sausages until they have good colour. Cut each sausage in half on an angle.

Pour the polenta into a large flat bowl or platter and arrange the sausages on top.

Anoint the dish with truffle butter, made by gently melting two tablespoons of butter in a small pan and adding 8-10 shavings of truffle before setting aside to infuse.

Put the platter in the middle of the table and serve with a lightly dressed rocket or cress salad.

The West Australian

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