For the polenta
Bring the salted water to boil in a pan over high heat. Pour in the corn meal very slowly a little at a time to avoid lumps from forming, stirring all the time. Continue to stir, always in the same direction, also bringing the mixture up from the bottom of the pot and loosening it from the sides If the polenta starts becoming too stiff and compact, add a ladleful of hot water to make it softer. Follow the instructions on the pack with regard to cooking times, bearing in mind that the polenta must be soft.
In the meantime slice the onion thinly and dice the herring fillets. Heat up a non-stick fry pan, pour in a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil then add the onion. After one minute add the herring and cook over medium heat for around ten minutes, seasoning sparingly with salt as herring is in itself flavoursome; turn off the heat, cover and set aside. Add the ricotta, a knob of butter and a pinch of salt to the soft polenta, mixing well. Cover the bottom of a baking pan with a layer of polenta. Smooth and level the surface and then spread the mixture of onion and herring over it. Top with a layer of the remaining polenta. Put the baking pan in a preheated oven at 180 °C and cook until the surface has turned a light golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool. Use a cutter to create cylinders for serving as single portions.
Strong, spiced, top-fermented ale, beer, bottle conditioned
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