Calves Kidneys with Sage, Pancetta and Polenta

Sweet, luscious Marsala wine imparts a wonderful Italian flavour to Theo Randall's creamy calves' kidneys served with soft parmesan polenta
By Theo Randall
Calves Kidneys with Sage, Pancetta and Polenta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 250 g calves' kidneys, trimmed of fat and sinew
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 50 g cooked pancetta, cut into thin strips
  • 4 sage leaves, torn
  • 50 g cooked Italian lentils
  • 25 ml marsala
  • 25 ml crème fraîche

For the wet polenta

  • 1 litres water
  • 200 g polenta
  • knob of butter
  • 1 handfuls freshly grated parmesan


1. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Season the kidneys and add a dash of olive oil to the pan.

2. Fry the kidneys for 2 minutes, turning them over when they are a light brown colour.

3. Add the pancetta and sage and cook for 1 minute, then tip in the lentils, Marsala and crème fraîche.

4. For the wet polenta: bring the water to the boil in a pan, then gradually pour the polenta into the water, stirring as you pour. Make sure the polenta is thoroughly mixed into the water. Stir for 5 minutes then leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Season the polenta, and stir in a knob of butter and some grated parmesan - if the polenta is too thick, simply add more water very slowly until you have a better consistency.

6. Just before serving, give the polenta one last stir. Serve the kidneys on top of the wet polenta.

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