Something Different For The Veggies


I wouldn’t say I’m a vegetarian because, well, that would be a lie.  But due to laziness, financial limitations, and well the honest fact that I really like non-meat dishes, am always on the look out for new veggy recipes.  Yesterday, like any other day, Self Magazine sent me an email with some new meals to give a try.

And this is what appeared:

 Polenta & Vegetables in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. 

Sounded good. MM. Who doesn’t love anything with roasted red peppers? Vegetables good…..but polenta. What is polenta? My first thought was some sort of exotic meat. Or perhaps a sausage of sorts that happened to be healthier than usual. Mmm sausages in roasted red pepper sauce… yummm yum yum. I looked further into the recipe and all they said was it was a great vegetarian alternative… So it’s not sausage. Then what is it?

According to Wikipedia, Polenta is made from boiled cornmeal – other resources (I double checked in a few locations) referred to it as mush.  After cooking polenta, you have the choice of shaping it into a ball or patty and then frying it in oil til crispy. Funny thing is that originally it was a peasant food, but apparently now is high-end and a premium product. Oh, so that’s why I’ve never heard of it before!

I will have to go out and buy myself some polenta and give it a go. I’m thinking this recipe in particular:

Polenta Pie With Cheese & Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (16- to 18-oz) ready-made plain polenta roll (plastic-wrapped)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce. I on the other hand will opt for 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, some sliced up onions, capers, a dribble of white wine, brocolli, sprinkle of chili powder, and a pinch of oregano 
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella, coarsely shredded (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Oil a 9-inch pie plate or a 4-cup gratin dish with 1 teaspoon oil. 3Cut polenta roll crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and line pie plate with half of slices, overlapping slices slightly to completely cover bottom of pie plate. Stir 1 tablespoon basil into 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce and spread over polenta, then sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Top with remaining half of polenta slices, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and remaining half of mozzarella.

    Bake until bubbling and golden, about 20 minutes. While pie bakes, heat remaining pasta sauce, basil, and oil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Let pie stand 5 minutes to firm up and cool, then serve with extra sauce on the side.

    (Thank you www.epicurious.comand sorry for changing your recipe a smidgen…looks tasty though! I love anything in pie form.)

    Stay tuned.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.


    1 Comment

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    One response to “Something Different For The Veggies

    1. Po Lento

      Polenta is still eaten today all over the Po River valley.

      Basically, it’s Lombard grits made with yellow corn meal, instead of white corn, and copious servings of grated cheese, either Reggiano or, more likely, Grana.

      Over there, it’s not usually fried or grilled; instead, it goes directly from the pot, as soon as it’s ready, to your plate.

      You can also pour the contents of that pot on a cutting board; you wait for it to cool and become firm before cutting it while it’s warm and serving it with a savory meat sauce with more grated cheese.

      It’s seasonal food which is made mostly during winter.

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