Calzagatti is a poor typical dish of Modena cuisine composed of small touches of polenta and beans, usually fried. Long time ago the peasants prepared it during the evening and then fried it or cooked it on the embers. The particularity of this dish is that it can be eaten both sweet, with plum jam, and salted with onion or tomato salad. Calzagatti can be eaten without being fried, simply cold and cut into pieces. In this case they must be left to rest for a few hours to cool down.


  • 400 gr cornmeal
  • 300 gr fresh or dried pinto beans
  • 300 gr canned tomatoes
  • bacon or lard
  • ½ white onion
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • salt and pepper

If dried beans are used, remember to soak them the night before to cook at least 1 and a half litres of water. After left the beans soaking for the right time, boil it in a lot of salt water and, in a crock, prepare a fried with a bottom of butter, ½ onion and lard or bacon cut into cubes. Fry for the necessary time, then moderating the heat and add the peeled tomatoes. After about 10 minutes add also the drained beans even while retaining all of the cooking water. With the cooking water from beans, prepare a simply polenta, stirring continuously for about 30 minutes. When it will be almost ready, add the soup with beans and go on the cooking for 15 minutes over medium heat. Leave the polenta to cool, cut it in thin lines and fry it to obtain a more golden brown and crispy.



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