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Monica Buck Photo by: Monica Buck

Polenta with Pancetta and Sage

NOTES: Pancetta is available in many supermarkets and at Italian groceries. Garnish the polenta with sprigs of fresh sage or with fried sage leaves.

Sunset NOVEMBER 2004

  • Yield: MAKES: About 4 1/2 cups; 4 to 6 servings


  • 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


1. 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.

2. Add chopped sage to pan and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil.

3. 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).

4. Ladle polenta into bowls and top with reserved pancetta.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 252
  • Calories from fat: 33%
  • Protein: 5.2g
  • Fat: 9.2g
  • Saturated fat: 3.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 36g
  • Fiber: 4.7g
  • Sodium: 97mg
  • Cholesterol: 9.5mg

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Polenta with Pancetta and Sage Recipe