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For the Meatballs
450g/1lb beef mince
200g/7oz pork mince
For the Polenta
600mlboiling water1.2 pints
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF).
Cut the crusts off the bread and tear it into small pieces.
Place the bread into a large bowl and pour over the milk.
Mush this together until you have a thick sludge.
Peel the onion and garlic and then grate them into the bread mixture. (Or use a food processor to chop the onion- see notes)
Add the beef and pork mince, eggs, parmesan, parsley, oregano, sage, salt, fennel and pepper.
Use you hands to squish and mix the mixture together.
Take a small portion of the mixture and roll it lightly into a 2cm (1 inch) diameter ball.
Repeat with remaining mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof frying pan or sauté pan.
Cook the meatballs over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until well browned.
To ensure you get an even colour every now and then jiggle the pan about to get the meatballs rolling.
Add the butter and the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until bubbling and cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking make your polenta.
Place the milk and 600ml (1.2 US pints) of water into a large pan and bring to the boil.
Add the instant polenta in a steady stream whilst stirring continuously.
Stir for a further 3 minutes over a medium heat.
Add the butter and grated parmesan, then season generously with salt and pepper.
Serve with fresh basil (or parsley) and extra parmesan if you want it.
Grating an onion can be a bit messy, I am very clumsy and often grate my finger! So I opt for the processor, more to clean but safer!!!! If you are using the food processor ensure you have a onion mush rather than chopped onion.If you haven't made any marinara sauce you can sub in two tins of chopped tomatoes + 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs