As always, a million thank yous to my grandma. She's the best! (And for the numismatists out there, don't worry, we did hold on to a few of the more special coins.)
Grilled Polenta slightly adapted from Mario Batali / Food & Wine
2 cups polenta
6 cups water
Lightly oil two glass baking dishes. In a medium saucepan,
bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and slowly
whisk in the polenta. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the
polenta is thick, about 5 minutes. Pour the hot polenta evenly into the two baking
dishes and cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Let stand until
firm, about 25 minutes.
Light a grill and oil the grates. Cut the polenta into squares and
grill over moderately high heat until crisp and lightly charred, 5
minutes per side.
Tomato Sauce with Bacon and Onion via The Art of Simple Food
makes about 2 cups
Into a heavy pan over medium heat, pour: 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3 slices bacon (or pancetta),
cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Cook until the fat is rendered and the meat
is lightly browned. Remove the meat and set aside. Add to the fat left
in the pan: 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin.
Cook, stirring now and then, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add: 6 ripe medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 8 canned whole tomates, drained and chopped. Add salt to taste.
for 10 minutes over low heat. Add the reserved bacon and cook for
another 2 or 3 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
[Serve squares of polenta topped with sauce and grated Parmesan.]
Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus via Gourmet
1 pound medium asparagus (1/2 inch thick; 12 to 15)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
12 to 15 thin slices pancetta
Equipment: 4 (12-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas).
Trim asparagus to 6 inches long, then toss with oil and
1/4 tsp pepper in a small dish. Wrap middle of each asparagus with 1
slice of pancetta. Thread 3 or 4 wrapped asparagus 1/2 inch apart onto
Oil grill rack, then grill asparagus, uncovered,
turning, until pancetta is golden brown in spots and asparagus is
crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.