Polenta with spiced pork and pepper stew

Polenta is served with a wonderful spicy mixture of pork, pancetta and peppers in this recipe from Giorgio Locatelli
By Giorgio Locatelli
Polenta with spiced pork and pepper stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 120 g polenta
  • 500 g pork, trimmed of fat and cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 100 g pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 parsley, stalks removed, leaves finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, sliced, you can remove the seeds if you don¬ít want your dish to be too spicy
  • 1 large red or yellow pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes


1. Tip the polenta into a large jug to make it easy to pour.

2. Pour 500 ml of water into a large saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to the boil. Now add the polenta in a slow, continuous stream, stirring continuously with a long handled whisk or wooden spoon until completely blended.

3. Reduce the heat to very low, and cook, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes. Then pour the polenta out into a deep plate or bowl, cover with cling film and allow to set.

4. While the polenta is cooking, season the meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan. When very hot add the seasoned pork in batches. Fry over a high heat until browned and well sealed. Add more oil to the pan as necessary. As each batch is cooked, remove to a warm plate.

5. When all the meat is cooked remove from the pan, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and gently fry for 5-7 minutes until soft. Then add the garlic and fry for another minute or two.

6. Mix together the pancetta and parsley and toss into the pan. Add the chillies and red pepper. Cook the mixture for about 3 minutes.

7. Return the pork to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate.

8. Pour in the wine, stirring and scraping the residue in the base of the pan. Let the liquid reduce for a minute.

9. Add the chopped tomatoes and around 250ml of water and bring to a simmer.

10. Cook over medium heat for about 40 minutes until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened and the meat is tender.

11. Turn the polenta out, cut into thick slices (1.5-2cm), oil it lightly with olive oil and grill on both sides on a hot griddle pan until the polenta is heated through and has charred lines on both sides.

12. Divide the polenta slices between 4 plates and serve with the pork stew.

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