Traditional Romanian Polenta with Feta Cheese, Bacon and Sausage known as Mamaliga cu Branza in Paturi is a dish I’ve grown up with and am very fond of. It’s hearty, delicious and satisfying.
Well let me tell you, you can’t get anymore traditional than this as far as Romanian cuisine goes. I learned to make this from my mother who learned from my grandma and so on. Now I used bacon and some smoked sausage in this polenta, but you can omit the bacon and sausage completely and you’ve got yourself a vegetarian meal. I guess you could say this dish is peasant food and the polenta is often cooked in large copper pots or iron skillets.
Now I don’t make this often, maybe once or twice a year, but I like it, I mean I love anything with feta and bacon. This is a dish that is probably only made in certain parts of the country or each region has their own version. But my dad is from Cluj which is in the North West part of Romania and this is how they make this polenta there. I have to say that whenever my mom used to make this, the house used to smell amazing from the bacon and the sausage and we couldn’t wait until it was done so we could sink our teeth into it. Now I make it myself and I just get very nostalgic and miss home. It’s a very dear recipe and I love sharing it with you guys. Hope you make and try this.
- 5 slices bacon fried and chopped
- 1 cup of smoked sausage sliced and fried
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 8 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups feta cheese shredded
- Boil the water with salt. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to low and add the cornmeal, while stirring constantly. Keep stirring, you will notice the polenta will thicken.
- Cook the polenta for about 20 to 30 min.
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- In a 9 x 13 in baking dish, spread half of the polenta using some of the remaining bacon fat. Sprinkle with half of the feta cheese. Add all the sausage and half of the bacon.
- Repeat with another layer using the remaining polenta. Add the remaining cheese and top off with the remaining bacon.
- Bake for about 10 min.
- Serve warm.