Like pastry-less pies, these mounds of polenta are filled with a mixture of Italian pork sausage and rapini (broccoli rabe). Crisp on the outside, soft and yielding in the centre, the polenta pouches are delicious served atop a chickpea and vegetable puree.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (114 votes)



  • 200 g instant polenta
  • 800 ml water
  • pinch of salt


  • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 300 g pork sausage meat, out of its casing, cut into small pieces
  • 1 kg rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 100 ml dry white wine

Chickpea puree 

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400 g tins chickpeas, well drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the filling, brown the sausage meat with the chillies in extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine, allow to bubble away for a few minutes, then turn the heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Blanch the rapini in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water to prevent the greens from discolouring. Add the sausage meat, mix through, taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the water and the polenta in a medium sized non-stick saucepan, add a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the polenta is soft and creamy. 

Oil 6 individual ramekins and dust them with polenta flour or breadcrumbs. Spread a few tablespoons of polenta in the ramekin to create a shell to encase the filling in. Add 1-2 tablespoons of filling, top with one extra tablespoon of soft polenta to create a lid. Repeat with the remaining ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and delicious.

To make the chickpea puree, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir-fry the onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add the drained chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then blitz the chickpea mixture in a food processor until smooth. If too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water.

To assemble, spread 2-3 tablespoons of chickpea puree onto each plate. Take the baked polenta out of the ramekins and sit it on top of the puree. Serve with a side of baked potato or a green salad. 


This recipe is from Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca. To find out more about the show, check out the episode guide, or scroll through Silvia's recipes. Tune in at 8pm, Thursday 27 November on SBS ONE.