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Polenta Pasticciata


  • 3/4 of a cup of Indian meal
  • 1 quart of milk
  • salt
  • grated cheese


Boil the milk, and add the Indian meal, a little at a time, when milk is boiling, stirring constantly. Cook for one-half an hour, stirring constantly. Add salt just before taking off the fire. The Indian meal should be stiff when finished. Turn it onto the bread-board, and spread it out to the thickness of two fingers. While it is cooking prepare a meat sauce, and a Bechamel sauce as follows:

Meat Sauce

  • 1 small piece of beef
  • 1 small piece of ham, fat and lean
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 small piece of onion
  • 1 small piece of carrot
  • 1 small piece of celery
  • 1 pinch of flour
  • 1/2 cup of bouillon (or same amount of water)
  • pepper


Cut the meat into small dice; chop up fine together the ham, onion, carrot, and celery. Put these all together with some pepper into a saucepan with the butter, and when the meat is brown, add the pinch of flour, and the bouillon a little at a time (or the water), and cook for about one-half an hour. This sauce should not be strained.

Bechamel Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 pint of milk


Take flour and butter. Put them into a saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until they have become a golden-brown color. Then add milk, a little at a time; stir constantly until the sauce is as thick as custard, and is white in color. If it grows too thick, a little more milk may be added; or if it is too thin, a tiny lump of butter rolled in flour will thicken it.

Now take the cold Indian meal and cut it into squares about two inches across. Take a baking-dish of medium depth, butter well, then put in a layer of squares of Indian meal close together, to entirely cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle over it grated cheese; then pour on the top enough meat sauce to cover the layer (about two tablespoons), then on the top of this add a layer of Bechamel sauce. Then put another layer of the squares of Indian meal, sprinkle with grated cheese as before, add meat sauce, then Bechamel sauce, and continue in this way until the baking-dish is full, having for the top layer the Bechamel sauce. Put the dish into a moderate oven, and bake until it is a golden brown on top.


Simple Italian Cookery.


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