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Author Notes: These parmesan polenta balls are the ideal mouthful; crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The combination of garlic and parmesan is the perfect partner for the creamy polenta. Serve hot with marinara sauce (sugo al pomodoro).
*With regards to the parmesan rind, if I don't have a slab of parmesan at home, I source them from the cheese/cold meat section counter of my local Italian store.
**If the mixture hasn't cooked for long enough, it will not set when you refrigerate it and you won't be able to roll it into balls. —Stefania
Makes 35 balls
- 2 cups whole milk (500ml)
- 1 cup water (250ml)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large garlic clove, finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch freshly ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup polenta (250g)
- 2 1/4 cups parmesan, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup panko
- vegetable oil for frying
- Put the milk and water into a pot. Add the parmesan rind and warm on medium heat for 15 minutes. The aim is to flavour the milk with the parmesan.
- In another large pot (preferably non-stick!), sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the pepper, nutmeg, and salt.
- Add the polenta and stir to coat the polenta.
- Remove the parmesan rind from the milk/water. Add the liquid to the polenta and whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add the parsley and 2 cups of parmesan, and stir to combine.
- I then switch to a spatula and continue to cook on medium heat until the mixture has significantly thickened.**
- Put the mixture in a casserole dish and cover with cling film, making sure that the cling film touches the surface of the mixture (this will help to prevent a thick skin from forming). Place in the fridge and cool completely.
- Once the mixture has cooled, take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat vegetable oil in a pan, enough to shallow fry the balls. Alternatively, you can use a deep fryer if you have one available. Fry until golden brown and serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Parmesan