I always wanted to try polenta ever since I seen it on an Italian cooking show…you know the type of scene, in a cozy Italian kitchen, with the hot polenta being poured out onto a large table?
Half way through this video you will see an Italian rural couple preparing polenta.
Well, I spied these babies at the market and I couldn’t resist trying a new thing. Right there- on the package- came my inspiration for how I would prepare it. On the label was a simple lasagna recipe. I added a few embellishments.
This makes a large, very hearty, lasagna.
1.5 kg polenta, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 pound minced lean beef or poultry
1 red chili pepper, seeds removed, minced
6 cups plain tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 small red onion
3 cups grated marble cheese
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
Grate cheese and slice polenta and veggies, and set aside. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and brown the meat with garlic, chili, spices, salt, and pepper. Add in the tomato sauce. Set on a low simmer.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take a 13 x 9 inch pan and pour in a thin layer of sauce, followed by the first layer of polenta. Layer on veggies and mushrooms, spreading evenly. Layer on 1 cup of cheese. Layer more polenta, followed by sauce, followed by veggies and mushrooms, followed by 1 cup of cheese, followed by polenta- veggies- sauce- ending with the last cup of cheese. It’s not crucial how you layer this, as long as the sauce is spread out and you end with cheese near the top.
Loosely tent with foil and bake in middle of oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling throughout. Feeds 6-8. This makes delicious leftovers!