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16 April 2013

Breakfast Polenta With Pancetta and Eggs and The Town of Civita Castellana


I'm back with my breakfast craze.  Be it savory or sweet, here I am to enjoy it and when I make a new discovery, you can count on me to share it with you.  Like these delicious breakfast polenta for instance.  Just watch out because they are hard to resist! Yum!


Breakfast should be the least elaborate meal of the day.  In fact, to make this dish simple, I used a pack of pre-cooked polenta brick to cut short the long process of making polenta from scratch before being sliced and grilled.  I was dubious about using the pre-cooked brick but a friend told me once that she tried it for grilling and it came out perfectly. It's also very compact that it doesn't disintegrate easily like the ones from scratch.  I normally use the polenta flour that cooks for 40 minutes because I like the taste better than the quick-cooking ones so to think of using pre-cooked bricks was a big step for me.  But there was no need to complicate matters by spending more than an hour stirring in the morning.  Well, if you have leftover polenta from the night before, put it in a flat pan, make it compact then slice in the morning. Without the pre-cooked bricks, that is the usual thing to do.  Time is always of essence and I am glad to say that these bricks are a gift to people who are in a hurry.


I am ambivalent towards breakfast even if I am crazy about the endless possibilities of dishes that I can eat.  I always choose more sleep over a plate of food but if there's something interesting, I know my feet will drag me to the kitchen fast.  We all have our own simple little menus that we have been eating throughout the years and it amuses me to see my two kids having completely different choices from each other in the morning.  They both don't like changes and their breakfasts are consistently redundant.  As much as I try to introduce new ones, I am always refused flatly.  Maybe in time, they will put a little bit of flexibility to their first meal of the day. 


Now let me introduce you to this simple, old town called Civita Castellana.  It had been existing since the Iron Age and occupied by the Falisci people.  It was called Falerri during that time.  When the ancient Romans arrived and war ensued, the Romans won and they built a new city called Falerri Novi a few kilometers from it.  It had been repopulated again at the beginning of the Middle Ages under its new and current name, Civita Castellana


Immediately outside the town, there is a big parking close to the castle and it is very convenient to access the town.  If you turn right before you arrive to the bridge towards the town, you can walk around the old wall and be greeted with a splendid view of the countryside surrounding it.  At the first opening in the wall towards the town, turn.  That road leads to the town's cathedral built on 1210 in the Cosmatesque style, a typical geometric stonework inlay typical of the Medieval Age.  It's beautiful! 

Scroll down for more pictures and I hope you enjoy them!









Well, that was it.  I hope you enjoyed this post.  I have a few more pictures of the towns I visited recently.  Please drop by again for the next blog posts.  Have a good week!



Breakfast Polenta With Eggs and Pancetta


Ingredients:

Yields 4

  • 600 grams pre-cooked polenta bricks or rolls (if you are making polenta from scratch, please refer to my old recipe)
  • extra virgin olive oil 
  • 70 grams pancetta affumicata (smoked pancetta), diced
  • 4 eggs
  • salt
  • parsley
Directions:

  1. Make 2 cm. (1/2 inch) slices of the polenta then with the use of a round food shaper, shape the polenta to discs.  Brush extra virgin olive oil on the griddle to avoid sticking.  Brown both sides of the polenta.
  2. In a saucepan, toast the pancetta without any oil.  Set them aside.
  3. Get rid of the excess fat in the saucepan then wipe it with a paper towel.
  4. Cook the eggs sunny side up.  Season with salt. You can also shape the eggs with the same food shaper you used for the polenta to make them uniform.
  5. In the serving plate, layer the following in order:  polenta, egg, pancetta & parsley.
  6. Serve immediately while the egg is still hot.