Crispy Farro Polenta with Fresh Puttanesca Sauce
We're celebrating first-of-the-season tomatoes with our recipe for Crispy Farro Polenta with Fresh Puttanesca Sauce. This lighter version of the classic Italian sauce pairs sweet cherry tomatoes with hot peppers, capers, olives, basil, extra virgin olive oil and a drizzle of Colatura. Perfetto!
Recipe by Asha Loupy
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Serves 3 – 4
- 3 1/4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup Farro Polenta from Rustichella d’Abruzzo
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Colatura d’Alici (Anchovy Syrup), plus more to taste
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Hot Peppers in Olive Oil
- 2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Sicilian Capers in Sea Salt from Rustichella d'Abruzzo, rinsed well
- 2 tablespoons dry-cured or Kalamata black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and stir until it is dissolved. Slowly add the farro polenta in a continuous stream, making sure to whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until the farro polenta has cooked through, about 15–20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and transfer the cooked farro polenta into a well-oiled 8x8 baking pan. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours to overnight.
About a half hour before serving, make the fresh Puttanesca sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, colatura, garlic and hot pepper in olive oil. Add the cherry tomatoes, capers, olives and basil, gently stirring to coat them in the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings, as necessary. Let sit, at room temperature, to let the flavors marry for 15–30 minutes.
While the sauce is marrying, make the crispy polenta: Remove the farro polenta from the refrigerator. Run a paring knife along the edges of the pan and then invert the pan onto a cutting board. Slice the cooled farro polenta into twelve rectangles (slice it vertically in thirds and then horizontally into fourths).
In large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the sliced farro polenta until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3–5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
To serve, arrange crispy polenta slices on a platter, or individual plates, and top them with a generous amount of the tomato sauce. Mangiamo!