Polenta with Marinara and Meatballs

  • Servings: 20
Polenta with Marinara and Meatballs


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Six (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • Kathleen's Meatballs
  • 4 cups loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups fine yellow cornmeal (preferably Goya brand)
  • 4 cups freshly grated Locatelli cheese


  1. Prepare the Marinara Sauce; In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauteing until onions soften and garlic browns, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, white wine, and butter. Add meatballs to pot, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley and basil; simmer for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, in a 20-quart stockpot, bring 12 quarts water to a boil; add salt. Slowly add cornmeal a handful at a time, stirring constantly with a large wooden stick or spoon to prevent lumps. Cook until polenta has thickened and just begins to cling to the stick, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. On a large (at least 72 inches-by-40-inches) clean wooden table or counter, carefully pour out polenta, rolling it out with the stick to smooth. Polenta should be about 1 1/2-inch thick.

  4. Pour marinara sauce and meatballs over polenta. Sprinkle evenly with cheese; serve immediately.


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