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Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a large frying pan, gently fry the onion in the oil until soft, about 8-10 mins. Stir in the pancetta, garlic and thyme, and cook until the pancetta is browned and crisp. Stir in the polenta and half the cheese and cook for a few mins – don’t worry if the polenta breaks up. You can prepare up to this stage up to a day ahead.
Add the cream and stock to the pan, mix thoroughly, then pour into an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over and bake for 40 mins or until browned on top. Allow to stand for 10 mins before serving.