Cuzcus Paulista

Cuzcus Paulista

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

18 minutes


8 people

Cuzcus Paulista will satisfy that urge for something out of the ordinary!


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), chopped (save some for garnish)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 can (15 1/4 oz, 432g) corn
  • 1 can (15oz, 425g) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, 2 sliced and 2 roughly chopped
  • 8.5 oz sardines packed in oil (from two cans, each with 4 3/8 oz, 125 g), scaled and bones removed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1 Brush the bottom and sides of the tube pan with olive oil.
  • 2 Garnish the bottom of the pan with thin slices of hard-boiled eggs and scallions and set aside.
  • 3 In a medium size Dutch-oven, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat.
  • 4 Add the onions and scallions and small pinch of salt and cook slowly, stirring regularly.
  • 5 Don’t let the onions turn dark, they should “sweat” their moisture becoming tender and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
  • 6 Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • 7 Add the corn and peas and stirring with a wooden spoon, cooking gently until everything gets hot, about 2 minutes.
  • 8 Add the tomato sauce and simmer gently for 3 minutes.
  • 9 In a bowl place the polenta and pour 3 1/2 cups of tap water; stir roughly with a wooden spoon. P
  • 10 our the “wet” polenta in one stroke into the corn-pea mixture and cook, stirring until the polenta starts absorbing some of the liquid, about 5 minutes. You don’t want the mixture to be too wet or too dry; it should be pasty and sticky.
  • 11 Season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.
  • 12 Add the parsley, chopped egg, and sardines.
  • 13 Fold everything gently, being careful not to shred the fish.
  • 14 While still hot, carefully spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an off-set spatula. If you have a little extra mixture, you can use an individual ramekin greased with oil to save the extras.
  • 15 Let the mixture cool at room temperature for 20 minutes then chill overnight.
  • 16 Remove the cuscus from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • 17 Run a knife around the edges and invert the mold onto a platter.
  • 18 Lift the mold.
  • 19 Serve at room temperature (warm up after each piece is cut gently in the oven or microwave) with green salad on the side.


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