This stew is from Bari, a coastal town in southeastern Italy, where lamb is a staple.
2 medium yellow onions, peeled, and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled, and finely chopped
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 lbs. lambs' necks, in pieces
2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 2⁄3 cups yellow cornmeal
3 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Cook onions and garlic in oil in a skillet over medium-low heat until soft, about 15 minutes.
2. Place lamb in a large roasting pan. Add onion mixture, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3 hours.
3. About 45 minutes before lamb is done, begin making polenta. Combine cornmeal and 7 cups cold salted water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot, about 40 minutes.
4. About 20 minutes before lamb is done, add beans. Continue cooking, until lamb is very tender. Discard bay leaves, season with salt and pepper, and spoon over polenta.