9 oz. yellow polenta, coarsely ground
7 oz. dried borlotti beans
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 oz. lard
1 small Savoy cabbage (about 1 lb.), shredded
How to make the Polenta with Borlotti Beans and Cabbage:
The best kind of pot for cooking polenta (cornmeal mush) is the traditional paiolo, a huge copper pot without a tin lining, and with a convex bottom. Stirring is done with a proper wooden paddle called tarello. The pot should only be half full, or the water might overflow when you add the cornmeal. The water should be properly salted in the beginning in order to avoid having to add either salt or water later during cooking.
Soak the beans overnight, then put them in lightly salted, cold water, and cook over medium heat for 40 mins. Clean and wash the cabbage, then blanch and soak in cold water. Cook till tender. Combine cabbage and beans. Cook for 1-2 mins., and then start to pour in the ground polenta. Follow the same procedure as in the basic recipe. It will take 40-45 mins. for polenta to cook. Add additional hot water if it becomes too dry. When ready, turn the polenta on a wooden board and let cool. Saute the garlic with the lard, remove when brown and set lard aside.
Cut the cooled polenta with the cabbage and beans into strips (approx. 2×4-in.). Dust with flour and cook in plenty of oil till crisp. Dot with lard and serve very hot.