In 2004, Food and Wine published an article about superstar chef Mario Batali’s kitchen reno. Of course, I love a good home make over, but what I loved even more was the very soft polenta with rock shrimp ragout recipe published alongside descriptions of Batali’s fridge placement and countertop choices. The rock shrimp are lovely, but the true appeal of this dish is definitely the polenta. Here’s how F&W sums it up:
This is Batali’s variation on a classic dish from the coastal villages outside of Trieste, where the fresh seafood is among the most prized in the world. The polenta that accompanies the shrimp must be very soft, almost saucelike. “Thick, lumpy polenta is criminal in that part of Italy, and justly so,” Batali says.
Truthfully, I imagine poorly prepared polenta is nearly criminal anywhere, but especially in Italy. Sure, we most often think of pasta and pizza when we think of the small boot-shaped nation, but “Italian grits” have a prominent role in Italian cooking throughout the country. The medium to coarsely ground cornmeal has its roots in the region long before Italy was united. Read More