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Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Polenta With Anchovies
Polenta With Anchovies
(Polenta Pasticciata Con Le Acciughe)
11 oz (300 grams) coarse polenta flour
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) salted anchovies
18 fl oz (500 ml) dry white wine
1 garlic clove
7 fl oz (200 ml) double cream
3 oz (80 grams) butter, plus extra for greasing
1 oz (25 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper
Prepare a fairly stiff polenta by bringing 18 fl oz (500 ml) of salted water and the wine to a boil (keep another pan of water boiling if necessary).

Sprinkle the polenta flour into the pan while stirring constantly.

As soon as the polenta thickens, soften it with a drop of the reserved boiling water.

When it is ready, pour it on to a work surface or tray and leave to cool and set.

Cut into slices.

Fillet the anchovies, cut off the head and tails, and press along the backbones with your thumb.

Soak in cold water for 10 minutes and then drain.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Melt 2 oz (50 grams) of the butter in a saucepan.

Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.

Lower the heat.

Add the anchovies and cook, mashing with a wooden spoon until they have almost been completely absorbed.

Remove the garlic.

Pour in the cream.

Season with pepper and cook for a few minutes more.

Make alternate layers of polenta and anchovy sauce in the prepared dish, ending with a layer of polenta.

Sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese.

Dot with the remaining butter and bake until golden brown. Serves 4.
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