Asparagus-artichoke polenta with vodka cream sauce

First I have to say that this Paperchef contest made me feel all Iron-Chef-like. All I needed was Alton Brown’s commentary as I cooked. However, my technique would probably make him turn away in fear and disbelief.

And here, in Sherlonya Stadium, I had to come up with a dish using asparagus, artichoke, tuna and vodka, ingredients chosen by the last winner.

I pondered, challenged the most by the vodka. Then I thought, “vodka sauce!” At first I was thinking of a cheesy creamy sauce. Then I thought tomatoes. Once I went there, I figured I’d add the tuna to the sauce. Vodka? Check. Tuna? Check.

So what would I sauce? First I thought omelette. Then I thought penne and was surprised that penne hadn’t been my first thought. Then I thought polenta and I said, aloud, “mmm.” Well, that’s what happens every time I think polenta.  And I was on my way.


  • Olive oil
  • 1 large shallots
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, sliced. Reserve 1/4 cup for garnish.
  • 1/2 cup Marinated artichokes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 can yellow fin tuna (6 oz)
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1cup tomato sauce


1. Heat olive oil. Add diced shallot and cook until translucent, add the sliced asparagus and saute 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Combine milk and  chicken broth. Heat until just barely simmering. Add polenta and whisk being sure to eliminate any lumps. Bring to a simmer, stir in shallot asparagus mixture and artichokes.  Cook until you reach desired consistency.

3. In the meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp.  Add remaining shallot and cook 1-2 minutes. Add tuna and stir until combined. Add vodka and cook until volume has decreased by half. Add tomato sauce and stir, simmering 2-3 minutes. Add cream and stir until combined. Cook until heated through.

Serve polenta on top of sauce. Garnish with thinly sliced asparagus.

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One comment

  1. It looks amazing and yummy. Thanks for the recipe. You have explained very well. I find artichoke very tasty, also it has many good uses to lead a healthy life.

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