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Monday, October 5, 2015

Italian Cornbread With Bacon and Herbs

This isn’t just any cornbread. It’s a pretty special recipe featuring crisp bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, and a sprinkling of fragrant rosemary. It’s also super simple to pull together: If you’ve got the bacon already cooked, it takes a mere 5 minutes or so to mix and 30 minutes to bake this bread. It’s wonderful on its own with a little butter or served with soup, bean salads, or alongside your favorite pork or chicken dish.


Serves: 8 to 10

Prep: 25 minutes

1 1/2 cups medium grind cornmeal
1/2 cup spelt flour (or all purpose)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 slices bacon or 3/4 cup chopped pancetta, crisp-cooked and drained
One 8-ounce jar oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and snipped
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary
Butter, softened (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium bowl stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 9×1-1/2-inch round baking pan. (Or, use the bacon grease if desired.) Place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove skillet or pan from oven; carefully swirl oil in pan to coat bottom and sides of pan.
2. Meanwhile, for batter, in large bowl combine half-and-half, eggs, and remaining oil. Crumble bacon. Stir tomatoes, bacon, shallot, and rosemary into egg mixture until combined. Add cornmeal mixture all at once to egg mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cut in wedges. Serve warm with softened butter.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.


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