Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Italian Style Entree "Cupcakes"!

Always looking for new and different ideas for meals this one "takes the cake", or should I say, "cupcake"?

Recently, while listening to "Everyday Food" on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112/XM 157, the host, Sandy Gluck, put together an interesting take on a "savory" cupcake with a Spanish Flair. I found this really interesting and asked Sandy (via Facebook) for the recipe. She graciously replied and explained that it wasn't really a recipe, but more of a "construction project" and described how she put hers together. Inspired by Sandy's creation, I put together an Italian version and the result was amazingly delicious!

First thing I did was throw together a pot of meat sauce which has to simmer for several hours. This is my Grandmother's recipe and a family secret, so don't go asking for the recipe! You'll have to be content with a photo of the sauce simmering on the stove!

Next, I made a thick polenta by mixing 1-1/2 cups of cornmeal into 1 quart of boiling salted water, and then whisked in about 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese.

When the polenta was cool enough to handle, I spooned about 3 tablespoons into the cups of an oiled muffin tin. Using your clean, then oiled fingers, push some of the polenta up the sides to form a "cup".

I then made a filling consisting of garlic, onion, chopped portabella mushroom stems, and Italian sausage (removed from their casings).

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil and saute' the garlic, onion & mushroom stems until soft.

Now add the crumbled Italian sausage and cook until it's browned and cooked through.

Add about a half cup of Italian style bread crumbs and mixed it all together.

When the filling is complete, I scooped about 2 tablespoons into each of the polenta cups.

Then topped each "cup" with the remaining polenta to cover the filling.

Next I browned some portabella mushroom caps in a little olive oil.

Then added about a cup of water, covered them and steamed them until they were tender.

Next, press the caps onto the filled polenta cups (These really do look like a cupcakes, don't they?).

Top the "cupcake" with the hot meat sauce and enjoy!

Actually very simple to make, and makes a delicious main course! I think I may try these in mini-muffin tins for great party hors d'oeuvres. And who said cupcakes were just for dessert?


  1. I have to try these! They look delicious and certainly appear easy to make. Thanks for the great idea, John!

  2. Kenn- They were easy to make. Sandy suggested trying the "Italian" version. I think I may try her "Spanish" version also. It sounds just as good!

  3. Sounds great. Too much trouble for me so why not ship me a few!

    My favorite sauce right now is Giada's All'Amatriciana. Oh, and bacon IS NOT a substitute for pancetta I find... lol.

  4. They look delicious!