One of the things I love most about travel is discovering new foods, and the find of my recent trip to Emilia-Romagna was the soft fresh cheese Squacquerone di Romagna. I had it with polenta chips and candied figs at Hotel La Rocca in the lovely Medieval hill town of Brisighella – a very simple dish, but one I haven’t stopped thinking about! This is my recreation of that meal, using the similar stracciatella from Marrickville cheese producer Vannella, and Maggie Beer’s delicious Burnt Fig Jam. Don’t be tempted by instant polenta, an authentic stoneground version takes longer to cook but is worth the effort; it’s still slightly grainy when ready, but the grains are tender. Leftover polenta keeps for at least a week refrigerated, and is delicious fried or baked with a simple tomato sauce, so it’s worth making a double batch. Staying Italian-inspired with the wine, Casa Freschi Ragazzi pinot grigio, made by David Freschi in the Adelaide Hills, is a great match.