I asked Martha if she had a recipe for Torta di Polenta (cornmeal cake) after I saw one at Olga's Cup and Saucer. Of course she did. It is similar to shortbread.
A dry crumbly torta to dunk in wine, coffee, tea … or not.
From Italy the Beautiful Cookbook by Lorenza De’ Medici
1 cup [= 6 oz. or 185 grams] blanched almonds
1 cup [= 4 oz or 125 grams] organic yellow cornmeal (used fine ground)
¼ cup [1 oz or 30 grams] unbleached flour
½ cup [4 oz or 120 grams] granulated white sugar
4 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened [1 stick + 1 T. (tablespoon)]
1 T. or so of powdered sugar
1. If you don’t have a scale just measure the almonds in a dry-measure cup. Chop the almonds very finely or preferably grind in blender or processor. Use 1 or 2 T. of the white sugar if you do this so they won’t get pasty.
2. For the flour if you don’t have a scale, spoon the flour lightly into a
1/4-cup measure until overflowing, then level off with a spatula. Same with the cornmeal. No need to sift, just stir them together.
3. Cream the stick of butter and ½ cup sugar together.
4. Stir the almonds, flour and cornmeal together, then mix into the creamed butter/sugar with a spatula or wooden spoon until mixed. If you didn’t weigh the dry ingredients and mixture seems very dry you can add a teaspoon of vanilla.
5. Grease bottom of a 9” pan with the 1 T. of butter. You can use a cake pan or a tart pan w/detachable bottom.
6. Bake at 400° for 20 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool slightly then remove bottom, or turn out of regular cake pan, either way cool it on a rack. When completely cool sift the powdered sugar over the top.