Pike and polenta

Pike and polenta
Pike and polenta

Luccio alla Gardesana, as its name suggests, is a typical dish of the Lake Garda area.
It is one of the fish most commonly caught in the waters of Lake Garda. The traditional way of preparing it is 'in Gardesana sauce', accompanied by soft polenta.
It is a lake fish with tender meat, very few calories and many mineral salts and vitamins.
Its taste is very intense and in this recipe it is sublimated by other ingredients, also local, such as lemons, capers and Garda olive oil.
The recipe is not particularly complicated to make and the result will be a fresh and delicate second course, but it is also perfect with a portion of polenta.

Here is the recipe:
Ingredients (for 6 servings):

  • 500 g pike fillet
  • 7 fillets of lake "sardele" in oil (or 14 fillets of anchovy)
  • 1/2 glass of Garda Evo olive oil   
  • 1/2 glass of white wine vinegar   
  • 170 g drained tuna au naturel   
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 onion   
  • 1 celery stalk   
  • 1 sprig of rosemary   
  • a few sage leaves   
  • chopped fresh parsley   
  • 12 slices of cold polenta prepared the day before

Place the pike fillet with celery, onion, rosemary and sage in a saucepan with 1 litre cold water.
Once it comes to the boil, cook the fish for a few minutes, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet.
In a small saucepan, heat the oil with the clove of garlic and melt the sardines. Add the vinegar and let it simmer for a few minutes.
When cooked, add the tuna, stir to mix the ingredients and turn off the heat.
Arrange the pike fillet in large pieces and pour the sauce over it while still hot.
Pike in sauce is one of those dishes that can be prepared in advance and served the next day because the fish gets more flavour and tastes better.
Toast the polenta prepared the day before on both sides on a grill (ideally on a griddle over the embers of the hearth) and cut it into slices about 1.5 cm thick.
Before serving, add chopped fresh parsley and more extra virgin olive oil and accompany the pike at room temperature with the slices of hot toasted polenta.

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