Do you have some leftover polenta? Well, I discovered a simple and very delicious recipe that I just have to share. Recently, I took a trip to Monforte D’Alba to meet with the owners of a winery. I have always wanted to see a grape harvest or una vendemmia up close and personal and if all goes well, I’ll have the opportunity to do so next weekend! At the end of my tour of the cantina, I noticed some jars of cugnà (coo-NYA) and before I knew it, the owner kindly gave me one.
Before I get back to talking about polenta, I must take the time to explain about cugnà. Cugnà is a product that results shortly after a grape harvest. I first learned about this through my dear friend Massimo who has a small family vineyard outside of Turin. He makes wine because it is his passion and his wine is extremely good. Cugnà is from Piedmont and is traditionally made from grape must, figs, apples and pears. It makes a good pairing with cheese or bollito (Piedmont dish of red-meat that is slowly braised). Untraditionally, I must say that it also goes quite well with my homemade banana bread.
After talking with one of the owners of the winery in Monforte D’Alba she explained to me that it was quite common to eat polenta with cugnà. I had some leftover polenta in my fridge so I melted some butter in a frying pan and cooked the polenta until it began to lightly brown and crisp, like a corn cake. Then, I simply adorned my polenta with some cugnà. As a side note, of course one can also use marmalade…better yet if it is marmalade made from scratch. This dish has the makings for a lovely brunch or any meal for that matter.