NOTES: Pancetta is available in many supermarkets and at Italian groceries. Garnish the polenta with sprigs of fresh sage or with fried sage leaves.
1/2 cup chopped pancetta (3 oz.) or bacon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 cup polenta
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
How to Make It
In a 2 1/2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir pancetta in olive oil until crisp and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer half the pancetta to paper towels to drain.
Add chopped sage to pan and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil.
Following steps 2 and 3 of basic polenta recipe, add polenta (omit salt in step 2) and cook until tender to bite. Add salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste (omit butter).
Ladle polenta into bowls and top with reserved pancetta.
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