In Naples triangles of fried polenta are called scagnuozzi (I hope I haven’t misspelled it – although I was born in Naples, I do not know the dialect very well!).
These scagnuozzi (meaning “henchmen”) are yummy treats that every pizzeria sells as a street food fix or appetizer/entree for the Neapolitan pizza.
That said, these are not the Neapolitan scagnuozzi but my healthified version of them. I oven baked polenta to save lots of frying oil and – above all – many many KCals.
Since baked polenta is not as moist as fried polenta I found it NECESSARY to dip it in a sauce. You say polenta fries, I say
ketchup marinara sauce, another neapolitan recipe made with tomatoes, garlic and oregano.
Most probably Neapolitans would’t approve the idea of baking polenta instead of frying it but I do not intend to let them know. Shh, let’s keep it secret :).
Baked Parmesan Polenta Fries
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk (I used organic soy milk)
- 11/2 cups polenta or yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil (plus more the grease the baking sheet)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil water in a large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add the milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils, around 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, stir in Parmesan and season with oil, salt and pepper. Spread polenta evenly onto a 8½×12-inch baking sheet. Press plastic wrap onto surface; chill in the fridge at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Uncover polenta and cut into 4×¼-inch strips. Sprinkle some parmesan and separate fries. Arrange on a greased baking sheet (I used oil).
- Bake fries around 25–30 minutes. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes before serving them along with your favorite dip.