Being from Italian descent, I grew up with polenta. And one of my fave dishes is creamy polenta with Bolognese sauce and generous sprinkles of Parmesan on top. SO yum!!
So naturally, when thinking up delicious appetizers for our end of year parties, I turn to my Italian roots. And polenta usually figures in some shape or form, in the array of bite-size delights I serve time and time again... It's like bringing a little bit of Italy to my table :)
But practicality and ease-of-cooking when it comes to appetizers, are also high on the agenda for me - there's nothing more unappealing to me than cooking while guests arrive!
This is where polenta chips, toasts or in this case, mini cups (they look like savory cupcakes, don't they?!) are a great appetizer or starter, as you can cook it at least the day before and are super practical to serve.
And the bolognese sauce also has a helping hand to speed things up from my newest discovery, the delicious Bertolli® Riserva Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano. The sauce is so luxurious, fresh-tasting and makes my Bolognese a breeze to make!
If you'd like to try one of the new, delicious Bertolli® Riserva sauces, head to this link to redeem a $1.50 coupon.
So my gourmet polenta cups appetizer with Bolognese sauce and Parmesan are the perfect appetizer for the party season, and tick ALL the boxes for celebrating fun times with friends and family, around fresh and tasty food!
Party Food: Gourmet Polenta Cups Appetizer with Bolognese Sauce Recipe
Ingredients (make approx. 18-24 polenta cups)
* 1 pack of quick-cook polenta
* Bolognese Sauce (see recipe below) with Bertolli® Riserva Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
* Finely grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
* Parsley leaves for garnish
1) Make the polenta as per packet instructions. As soon as it comes off the heat, fill a flexible tray of cupcake molds (or rigid cupcake cases) with the polenta, and level with the back of teaspoon.
2) Place polenta cups in the fridge to set and cool (about 30 minutes).
3) Make the Bolognese sauce as per recipe below, then reserve until ready to serve. You can make your cups and sauce at least 1 day before the party.
4) Once cooled, take the polenta cups out of the fridge and hollow out each cup with a melon-baller or a teaspoon. When ready to serve, place in a warm oven to re-heat thoroughly.
5) Meanwhile, re-heat the Bolognese sauce and spoon into the hollow polenta cups. Top with grated Parmesan and a parsley leaf. Serve at once.
Italian Bolognese Sauce Recipe
* 500g minced beef, preferably 15% fat
* 1 jar of Bertolli® Riserva Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
* 2 large onions very finely chopped - try this tip from the Bertolli® Cooking School for chopping your onions!
* 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
* Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
* 2 tablespoons of finely hopped parsley
1) Add all the Bolognese ingredients (except the Bertolli® Riserva sauce) into a big saucepan with a tight fitting lid and simmer on a very low heat for 45 minutes. The contents must not be allowed to fry, but stew in their own juices. Keep the saucepan lid on. Stirring every once in a while.
2) After 45 minutes, stir in the Bertolli® Riserva Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano. and simmer for a further 15 mins with the lid on.
3) Season to taste and stir in the chopped parsley.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Bertolli but recipes and opinions are my own.