Stilish and elegant, these mini polenta balls are the ideal finger food to make the most of a winter dinner.
For around 25 balls
- 100 gr quick-cooking polenta
- 500 ml tap water
- 1 yolk and a half from free range eggs
- 45 gr grated parmesan
- 1/4 tbsp grated nutmeg
- 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 75 gr hazelnuts, skin on
- 75 gr raw pistachios
In a heavy-based pan bring the water to a boil; add the polenta and whisk with some energy until well combined. Always stirring the polenta, let it cook for 8 minutes (or follow the instructions on the box).
Add the parmesan, nutmeg, a pinch of sea salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Now incorporate the eggs, one at a time.
Using a mortar and pestel coarsely chop the pistachios and hazelnuts to a granola.
Very carefully, since the polenta will be hot, make small balls wetting your hands in water every now and then, in order to give them a more accurate shape.
Coat every ball first in the egg yolks slightly beaten and then in the granola, switching between the two. Delicately put the balls on a tray covered with parchment paper and bake for 12 minutes at 180°C, still. Serve warm but not too hot.
For its fresh appearance, although slightly decadent due to the decoration of pistachios and candied roses, this imperial recipe could well have been boasted on the Gattopardo’s table. It tells a vivid story of languid perfumes of a Sicily perhaps lost in time and for me, the queen of Italian cuisine. It is a tradition to prepare this dish for midsummer.
- 4-5kg water melon to make 1 liter juice
- 80-100g brown sugar (you can vary the quantity according to the sweetness of the melon)
- 90g corn starch
- 50g unsalted chopped pistachios
- 50g chocolate drops (optional)
Slice the water melon, take out the red pulp with its seeds and place in a food processor set to the lowest speed, the seeds will not be crushed and you will be able to easily filter them through a sieve.
Filter the juice and measure 1 liter; set aside 1 glass of juice and pour the rest in a pan with the corn starch, whisking well to eliminate any lumps.
Add the remaining juice and the sugar and place the pan on the heat, thoroughly whisking until you have a dense cream.
Oil a round baking tin (I used a half cupola shape) with a little almond oil, transfer the mix and leave it at room temperature without covering. When the jelly reaches room temperature place in the fridge for at least 12 hours to set. To serve the jelly, turn over onto a plate and sprinkle the pistachios and, if you like, the chocolate drops.