Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali
Show: Molto Mario
Episode: Modena II
4 servings


  • 4 skewers, soaked in water 8 hours
  • 8 quail, boneless
  • 4 pieces pancetta, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 ounces balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 cups water
  • 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/2 cup Asiago, freshly grated


Check quail for bones or feathers and place in mixing bowl. Add pancetta, vinegar, olive oil, honey and black pepper and toss to coat. Set aside and preheat grill.

In a 3-quart saucepan, place onion, water and sage and bring to a boil. Thread one quail, followed by one piece of pancetta, followed by one quail on each of four skewers and place on hottest part of grill. Cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until just pink at the leg bones. Meanwhile, pour polenta slowly in a thin stream into boiling water, until all is incorporated and polenta thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. Switch to a wooden spoon, add Asiago and cook another minute, until as thick as paste. Remove from heat and pour on to a service-ready cutting board. Pile skewers on top of polenta and serve.


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