Soft polenta with calamari, pancetta and sage


  • Serves 4 people

  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 50 gm mild pancetta, diced
  • 450 gm calamari, scored and sliced into 3cm pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp sage, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
  • 10 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • Soft polenta
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 200 gm instant polenta
  • 60 gm parmesan, finely grated
  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
01   For soft polenta, heat chicken stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat. While whisking continuously, add polenta in a thin steady stream and stir over medium heat until cooked (3-4 minutes). Add parmesan and butter, season to taste, cover to keep warm and set aside. When serving, add a little extra stock or milk if needed.
02   Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add pancetta and stir until crisp (2-3 minutes). Increase heat to high, add calamari, garlic, sage and chilli and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes). Add butter and lemon juice and rind, season to taste and serve scattered with sage on soft polenta.
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