These cold days are made for eating polenta, the former peasant food -- it's ground corn -- that in recent years has gone gourmet.
Rizzo's Malabar Inn out on Crabtree, Westmoreland County, is celebrating the weather and the dish with its annual "Polenta Days." Tomorrow, Jan. 22 through next Tuesday, Jan. 29, you can savor several polenta preparations not usually available as well as some that always are on the menu at the landmark Italian restaurant:
* Polenta with Mozzarella and Spinach -- Pictured above.
* Polenta Abruzzese -- Mixed with crumbled sausage and layered with Asiago cheese, this polenta “lasagna” is topped with Rizzo's spaghetti sauce.
* Polenta di Saint Anthony the Abbot -- With broccoli rab (Italian broccoli) and crumbled sausage throughout, topped with spaghetti sauce and pecorino Romano.
* Polenta Naples -- Topped with provolone and a rich sauce made from pork, tomatoes, celery and carrots.
* Polenta Philomena -- A recipe from Cercemaggiore, mixed with potatoes and navy beans, topped with sausage and spaghetti sauce.
* Rizzo’s Polenta Classico -- Smothered in spaghetti sauce.
* Polenta Rizzo -- Topped with melted asiago and marinara sauce.
* Polenta Guarlotti Style -- Pictured below, it's named after Dr. Clem Guarlotti, and is topped with melted gorgonzola cheese and marinara sauce.
Polenta dishes, served as appetizers, range in price from $6.99 to $10.49.
Rizzo's is famed for its annual Feast of St. Joseph, which this year will run Thursday, March 7, through Sunday, March 10.
Rizzo's Malabar Inn photos