E ora, un pasto con polpetta e polenta. Polenta comes to us from Italy, where it's been enjoyed since Roman times. Here, it forms a base for plump meatballs, made with sweet and subtle fennel seed and resting on tomato sauce. E non è tutto! Cheesy bread rounds out this filling and delicious weekday meal.
Halve ciabatta lengthwise. Stem and mince parsley. Mince garlic..
Make the Pork Mixture
Add ground pork, meatloaf seasoning, and half the parsley (reserve remaining for garnish) to a medium mixing bowl. Add garlic, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and fennel to a cold, medium non-stick pan. Place pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden brown and aromatic, 2-3 minutes. Transfer garlic and fennel to bowl with pork. Carefully combine pork mixture thoroughly, ensuring meat is evenly seasoned. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Form and Sear Meatballs
Form pork mixture into eight golf ball-sized meatballs. Return pan used to cook garlic to medium-high heat. Add ½ tsp. olive oil and meatballs to hot pan. Cook, flipping meatballs often, until browned on all sides, 4-5 minutes.
Finish Meatballs and Make Cheesy Bread
Transfer meatballs to one half of prepared baking sheet. Wipe pan clean and add pizza sauce to pan. Place pan on stove top. The sauce will warm from residual heat in pan; no need to heat. Place ciabatta on other half of baking sheet. Top with mozzarella. Bake until cheese is golden brown and meatballs reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees, 8-10 minutes. While meatballs and cheesy bread cook, make polenta.
Make the Polenta
Bring a small pot with 2¼ cups water to a boil. Once water is boiling, reduce to a simmer. Add polenta, whisking often, until polenta is smooth, 4-6 minutes. Remove from burner, add butter, and whisk until thick and porridge-like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Plate the Dish
Scoop a serving of polenta into a shallow bowl or a high-sided plate. Top with sauce and meatballs. Garnish with remaining parsley. Halve cheesy bread diagonally and serve alongside.