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Wow, it has certainly cooled down all of a sudden! We had to light the fire for the first time on Thursday as all that warmth from the last of the summer sun had been sucked out of the house. Instead of going down the track of a wild duck recipe (poor little ducks), I thought I would bring back an old classic for the upcoming winter nights.

Meatballs in tomato with polenta

It’s more the polenta that I want to talk about if possible? As its a really great alternative to the more common potato mash. Polenta was all the rage a number of years ago and now it seems to have slowly faded away. Were not talk polenta chips here, we are talking super soft, rich and creamy mash that just loves being matched with meatballs and a rich tomato sauce.

I might even have them tonight!

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 ½ cups grated pumpkin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp finely grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 180*. Mix the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Form into balls. Heat oil in an oven-proof frying pan and fry meatballs until lightly browned. Pour the hot tomato sauce over meatballs. Bake in an oven for 30 minutes.


Prep/cooking time: 10 mins

  • 1 ltr water
  • 280g quick cook polenta
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan
  • 200g mascarpone
  • salt
  • pepper

Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in polenta while whisking. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until thick, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir through parmesan, mascarpone. Season and serve immediately.

Tomato sauce

(makes 3 cups)
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped herbs – parsley, rosemary and thyme
  • 2 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Sauté onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Add herbs and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Deglaze saucepan with tomatoes and simmer until reduced by half. Season to taste.

To serve: spoon meatballs and sauce over polenta. Garnish with grated parmesan and basil.