Pizza e Minestra

Pizza e Minestra (Cornmeal and Greens from Molise)

By Simona De Castro, a Molisana Chef at Restaurant Monticelli in Campobasso.

You might enjoy this simple, healthy and traditional recipe on our tours in Molise or try by yourself at home! 


Ingredients for 8 people:

  • 2.2 lb of chicory
  • 2.2 lb of broccoli rabe (aka rapini or turnip tops)
  • 2.2 lb of Swiss chard
  • 2.2 lb of savoy cabbage
  • 1 tsp of wild fennel seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp of EVOO
  • 2.2 lb of cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1.5 Tbsp of salt
  • 1 lb of sausage
  • Chili pepper (better if fresh, otherwise dried in powder or flakes)



  • Wash all the greens. Bring the water with salt to a boil and add the greens to be cooked separately 
  • When done drain the greens and set them aside, keeping the water to cook the polenta
  • Peel and sauté the garlic (either finely minced or whole, your choice) in a pot with 2 Tbsp of EVOO and the chili pepper, over medium heat until it lightly browns
  • Add half of the sausages, mashing them with a fork until almost done. Then add the greens and sauté for a few minutes. Set aside 
  • Bring the salted water to a boil (I used the same water used for greens) with 1/4 cup of EVOO, fennel seeds and the other half of the sausages
  • Pour cornmeal and keep stirring until you obtain a smooth consistency. Then pour it into a previously-greased tray and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of EVOO. Cook in the oven at 360F for 1 hour (it is ready when dry inside and crunchy on top)
  • In the pot with the greens add the polenta broken into chunks. Then sauté and mix all the ingredients for 10 mins over medium heat
  • Serve this dish in a bowl drizzled with more EVOO. It is also very traditional to bring a plate to the table holding fresh chili pepper and scissors to help yourself adjusting the spiciness to your taste (see the picture)


Buon appetito!


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