One true thing is - go for the best quality you can find and steer clear of the instant type. Polenta is not a quick meal - it will take you time to cook. We always recommend to look for bags of polenta marked with the word "BRAMATA" - this is a certain blend of different types of corn and for us has the perfect taste and sweetness. Another thing is always to look for the production date - you want the latest harvest - not something, which has been on the shelves for years.
For the polenta:
1,8 liter of water
a few bay leaves
250 g polenta
50 g parmesan
50 g butter
sea salt and black pepper
For the tomato sauce:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tin of tinned tomato - 400 g
sea salt and black pepper
700 g sprouting broccoli, trimmed and washed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + a little extra
Start with the polenta, bring the water to the boil in a large sauce pan, we like to use one with low sides. Add bay leaves and season already now with salt and pepper. Once it's at a rolling boil, drizzle in the polenta while whisking all the time. When all the polenta is in, lower the temperature to very low and let the porridge simmer for 45 minutes - you don't need to stir all the time, but keep an eye on it and give it a stir once in a while. Be careful - it will bubble like a volcano.
Mean while you can cook the sauce and blanch your broccoli.
For the broccoli, bring a large sauce pan of salted water to the boil, cook your broccoli until just tender - about 4-5 minutes and drain. Once cool, chop it coarsely. Set a side.
For the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium pan, and slowing fry the sliced garlic for a few minutes - don't do this in too hot oil - you want to cook the garlic on medium heat, so you get nice caramelized garlic with a lovely nutty flavor. Now pour in the tomatoes and break them up with the back of you wooden spoon. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes with a lid slightly of - use the wooden spoon for this. Season with salt and pepper.
In a frying pan, heat the last 3 tbsp of olive oil, add the broccoli and saute for a few minutes, now add some tomato sauce, but just enough to bind the whole thing together. Simmer for a few minutes and adjust the seasoning.
When the polenta is done - it is nice and thick and it starts to come away from the sides of the pan - then take the pan of the heat, remove the bay leaves and whisk in butter and parmesan - again adjust the seasoning. The polenta should be creamy - but not solid - if you want a creamier texture, adda lille warm water.
Plate up some polenta and give a good spoonful of the stew on top. Drizzle a little olive oil over.