Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Hake Fillet and Polenta

Polenta is the Italian equivalent of oatmeal porridge: corn flour boiled in water until soft and creamy. Polenta is usually served with butter and cheese, or with meat preparations that are rich in gravy.

If you want to know more about the story of polenta in Italian cuisine, check out the introduction to this recipe: Buckwheat Polenta Mini-Cakes with Champignons

In this recipe, we propose you our interpretation of a dish famous in Bergamo, a city in the northern region of Lombardy: polenta with fish.

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10 – 12 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

  • Hake fillet: 4 (about 600 g)
  • Instant Polenta: 200 g
  • Black olives: 30 g
  • Water: 100-150 ml
  • Potatoes: 3-4
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Tomatoes: 1
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 2 tbsp
  • Capers: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
  • Parsley, fresh: to taste
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


Tip: Fresh fish is always the best, but this recipe will give you good results with frozen hake, too. Remember to unfreeze it before proceeding any further! 

Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat it dry with some kitchen paper.

Peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes, the tomatoes and the olives in small pieces. Finely chop the parsley. Peel the garlic.

Heat up some oil in a pan, then add the garlic and the parsely. Let the garlic brown slightly, then add the potatoes and cook them for at least 10 minutes over medium heat.

Add the hake to the pan, along with the olives, the tomatoes, the capers and the turmeric. Season to taste, cover with a lid and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add some water if necessary.

Tip: We’re using instant polenta to speed up the process, but feel free to use normal polenta if you prefer. You will just have to prepare the polenta in advance.

Bring a pot of salted water almost to a boil. Once it is about to boil, turn the heat off and add the polenta. Stir thoroughly until the polenta has a homogeneous texture.

As soon as the polenta is ready, put it on a wooden board and use a spatula to spread it around in a uniform layer. Heat up a griddle pan and grease it with olive oil. Use a pastry cutter or a glass to cut some discs of polenta and then griddle them for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Place a polenta disc on each of your serving plates, then lay down the hake on the polenta. Place another polenta disc on top and drizzle with some of the hake sauce.

Buon appetito!

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