Popizze e sgagliozze con pinzimonio (two types of fritters, and crudités with olive oil)

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • To serve: extra-virgin olive oil, sliced baby fennel, Dutch carrots, celery heart, preserved cherry tomatoes (see note)
  •  
  • Semi-dried tomatoes
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, thickly sliced lengthways
  • 150 gm (½ cup) rock salt
  •  
  • Sgagliozze
  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 500 gm polenta
  •  
  • Popizze
  • 16 gm dried yeast (about 2 sachets)
  • 500 gm (3 1/3 cups) plain flour
  • For deep-frying: olive oil
  • 7 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 65 gm pitted black olives, finely chopped
01   For semi-dried tomatoes, preheat oven to 100C fan-forced. Place tomato slices on a wire rack placed over an oven tray, scatter with salt and stand until liquid begins to seep from tomatoes and salt becomes translucent (20-30 minutes), then roast until semi-dried and deep red (3-4 hours). Set aside to cool, then brush off excess salt.
02   Meanwhile, for sgagliozze, bring salt and 1.6 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add polenta in a steady stream, stirring continuously, until incorporated, then cook, stirring continuously, until polenta is cooked and very thick (35-40 minutes). Spoon onto a wooden board, spread to 1.5cm thick, set aside until cool and firm (1-2 hours). Cut into 5cm squares, set aside. Makes about 24.
03   Meanwhile, for popizze, combine yeast and 300ml lukewarm water in a bowl. Set aside until frothy (8-10 minutes). Combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, add yeast mixture and 100ml water, stir, adding more water if necessary, to form a wet dough. Cover and set aside in a warm place until tripled in size (2-3 hours). Heat oil in a deep-sided saucepan to 190C. Gently stir anchovy and olive into dough with a wooden spoon, then form tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and puffed (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste, keep warm. Makes about 35.
04   Deep-fry polenta, in batches, until just golden and crisp (3-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit), then drain on absorbent paper and season to taste. Serve sgagliozze and popizze hot with pinzimonio and semi-dried tomatoes.
Note Preserved cherry tomatoes are available from Quoco and Simon Johnson.

This recipe is from the May 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

SABINO MATERA, QUOCO

Photography:

BEN DEARNLEY

Styling:

GERALDINE MUNOZ

Drinking Suggestion:

2008 CANTELE TELERO BIANCO. , suggested by SABINO MATERA

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