academia barilla  June 2008

Chef Network Recipes: Chef Doug D’Avico presents Polenta with Ragu of Crayfish, Tomatoes and Curry

Welcome back to the Italian Food Lovers Chef Network! Today our [...]

Italian Food Lovers Chef Network Welcome back to the Italian Food Lovers Chef Network! Today our Guest Chef Doug D’Avico from Trattoria N. 10 in Chicago, shares with us another gourmet recipe: Polenta with Ragu of Crayfish, Tomatoes and Curry.

As you might remember, Chef D’Avico’s favorite food is seafood, so it was no surprise that he sent us this fish gourmet creation, after sharing with us the recipe for a mouthwatering Octopus Carpaccio.

Academia Barilla Chefs We are also very curious to taste Chef D’Avico’s gourmet twist in Italian cuisine, due to the strong and spicy presence of curry in a traditional Italian dish such as polenta, a classic alternative to pasta from Northern Italy, made of boiled cornmeal.

Are you ready for cooking? You can print this recipe or take your laptop to the kitchen, here we go!

A recipe by Chef Doug D’Avico
(serves 4-6)

For the polenta:

- 1/2 cup organic course ground corn meal
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoon Academia Barilla 100% Italian organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Academia Barilla Parmigiano Reggiano

For the sauce:

- 1 lb. cleaned and cooked crayfish tails
- 4 oz. fresh corn kernels, cut off the cob or use frozen
- 4 oz. pancetta or smoked bacon, diced small
- 1/2 small sweet onion, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white Wine
- 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
- 28 oz. can Academia Barilla Peeled Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon butter
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- crush red chili flakes, just a pinch
- marjoram leaves, for garnish



First start the polenta, bring the water and chicken stock to a boil. While constantly stirring, slowly add the polenta to the boiling liquid, this way you will not form any lumps. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Be careful as to not splat the hot liquid as it could cause a severe burn.

You will have to stir often so that the polenta cooks evenly and to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pot. The polenta will take around 45 minuets and will be finished when the polenta has the consistency of oatmeal.

Next add the olive oil and Parmigiano, season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little bit of oil on top so a skin does not form and cover till ready to serve.

While you are making the polenta you can start the ragu. In a 2 quarter sauce pan, render out the pancetta until it starts to brown. Drain off half of the fat and add the garlic and onions. Using a med heat you are going to brown the onion to form the sauce without burning them.

After the onions are browned, add the curry and the white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce the wine by a third.

Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add to the sauce, add the corn, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and stir then cook until the sauce reduces by a third or is about the consistency of a tomato sauce. Make sure you are stirring the sauce often so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns.

When the sauce is at the right consistency add the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can adjust the curry taste or add a small pinch of crushed red chilies and add the crayfish. Bring to a boil to heat the crayfish check the flavor one more time and simmer for 2-3 minuets and then get ready to serve.

To serve, make sure your polenta is still warm by stirring in the oil on top and rechecking your seasoning. Divide between the serving plates and then spoon the ragu over the polenta. Garnish with some fresh marjoram leaves and serve.

Buon Appetito from Chef Doug D’Avico, Academia Barilla, and Italian Food Lovers!

Thank you Chef Doug, we look forward to get other gourmet recipes and top Chef tips in the next months!

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