Polenta pecorino meatballs atop pecorino fondue decorated with coffee beads



For the meatballs:

  • 1 cup (250 ml water),
  • ¾ cup (115g) cornmeal (with cornflower petals),
  • 2 teaspoons salt,
  • 2/3 cup (60 g) aged Pecorino Toscano PDO,
  • panko 1 egg (or breadcrumbs)
  • sunflower oil

For the coffee beads:

  • ½ cup (115 ml) espresso,
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) agar agar,
  • sunflower oil

For the fondue:

  • 1 cup (250ml) fresh milk,
  • 2/3 cup (60g) grated Pecorino Toscano PDO,
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


First, make the polenta (it’s ok to make the day before). In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add two teaspoons of salt, then pour the polenta in all at once and stir well with a whisk to avoid lumps. Let it cook, stirring constantly. (Mine was a quick cooking polenta, which only took 5 minutes) Add the pecorino polenta and stir well to mix the cheese and polenta together, then pour into a bowl and let cool completely. At least 1 hour before creating the coffee beads, put it in the freezer a glass bowl with vegetable oil (all you need is one glass).

Dissolve the agar agar in the coffee. In a saucepan, bring the coffee-agar agar mixture to a boil. Once it has started boiling, let it boil for 3-4 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly (about 5 minutes). Fill a liquid dropper with coffee and let it drop one at a time in the bowl with the sunflower oil. Drain the coffee beads in a colander, rinse gently under running water and set aside.

Dampen your hands and shape the polenta into balls. Beat the egg in a bowl, then roll meatballs in the beaten egg and put them in panko (or breadcrumbs) until they’re completely covered. Bring the sunflower oil to the temperature needed for frying and fry the meatballs for a few minutes until they’re brown.

Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Prepare the fondue. In a saucepan, boil the milk, then add the Pecorino cheese and stir with a whisk. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the cornstarch and mix everything with a whisk.

Continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Remove the pan from heat, then whisk fondue and pass it through a sieve. Serve. On a plate put the fondue, then place a polenta meatball in the center, and top it all off with the coffee beads. Serve.

Nicol Pini from blog Col cavolo
Read the original recipe on http://www.colcavolo.it

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