Polenta is one of the most comforting foodstuffs I know – it's wonderful on cooler evenings and works beautifully with the sweet flavour of roasted tomatoes.
For the polenta
1 litre/13/4 pints of water
A pinch of sea salt
250ml/9fl oz of coarse yellow polenta
80g/3oz unsalted butter
150g/5oz freshly grated Parmesan
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
For the roast tomato and black olive sauce
2kg/4lb ripe cherry tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
1 bunch of sage, leaves only
60ml/21/2fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
20 small, good-quality black olives (Ligurian, for example), pips removed
To make the polenta, pour the water into a medium-sized, heavy-based pan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, add a good pinch of salt and add the polenta. Turn down the heat and stir occasionally until cooked through, which will take about 25 minutes; the polenta should no longer be grainy. Add the butter and Parmesan and stir well to combine the tastes. Adjust the seasoning as necessary, possibly adding a little more salt. You can keep the polenta warm in a bain-marie for up to two hours, as long as it is covered with a lid.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. To make the tomato and olive sauce, roughly chop the tomatoes and place in a baking tray along with the garlic, chilli, sage and olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and place on the middle shelf of the oven at for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, scatter over the olives and stir well; adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve with the polenta in warm bowls and add some extra, grated Parmesan on top, to taste.Reuse content