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Lake Como style polenta

Typical of the Bellagio area, toc is a rich polenta dish served on special occasions, mixed with plenty of butter and cheese (200 gr of each per person). The polenta is cooked in a big cauldron in the centre of the ceremony, presided over by an expert chef who must keep the heat at just the right temperature to prevent the polenta from sticking to the pot; the butter and cheese are cut into small bits and slowly blended.

After the toc is finished, it's time to pour ragell (spiced red wine) into the unwashed cauldron, so that along with cinnamon and lemon zest etc, it's also flavoured with bits of polenta, cheese and butter. Heated on the flames and set alight, the ragell is then poured steaming hot into a wooden bowl and shared among all the guests.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: gustoblog