Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali
Show: Molto Mario
Episode: Towards Ferrara
Polenta con Pancetta e Piccione (Polenta with Bacon and Squab)
12 servings
12 servings


  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut 1/4-inch dice
  • Scant 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 squabs, roasted and cooled, meat removed and shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 pound cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for grating over


In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, combine the pancetta and the olive oil and cook over medium heat until the pancetta is browned and the fat has been rendered. Drain the fat and add the piccione, seasoned with and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and cooked through.

Bring 1 liter of water to a boil. Stir in cornmeal in a thin stream and continue to stir until polenta comes to a boil. Stir in the pancetta and piccioni and continue to cook 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Turn polenta out into a cutting board. Allow to cool and solidify slightly, then serve, using a string to cut it. Grate cheese over and serve.

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