Polenta Cheese Balls



  • 2 cups coarse polenta cornmeal
  • 5 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 lb. pancetta, diced
  • ½ lb. shredded fresh Fontina cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup freshly diced parsley
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup dry white wine


Start by making a basic polenta. Pour the water into a large pot. Heat the water for 4-5 minutes. Add the salt. Slowly add the cornmeal while whisking all the time.  When all the cornmeal is incorporated, continue whisking shortly to make sure there are no lumps. Turn the heat down, place a lid on top with some exposed for ventilation. Stir every 4-5 minutes. Cooking the polenta should take about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the balls: mix the polenta with the finely diced polenta and the crumbled fontina cheese. Add the lightly beaten egg, parsley, salt and pepper. Make about 30 balls about the size of a golf ball. Wet your hands after every 3 or 4 balls to avoid sticking.

Place the balls in a buttered casserole dish and sprinkle each ball with a little bit of the grated cheese. Place a tiny amount of butter on each ball. Bake for about 20 minutes in the hot oven or until golden. Serve immediately!



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