Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Polenta + Tomato Sauce

I've been in the mood to try new things, lately. There's been a lot of change happening, why not incorporate that into our nightly cuisine!

This recipe was simple, yet oh-so satisfying. It has the comfort of mashed potatoes, without as much butter.

Baked Polenta topped with Tomato & Mushroom 
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

2 servings

2 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
salt, to taste
2 tbsp unsalted butter
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup grated cheese (I used Manchego)

Tomato & Mushroom topping:
1/2 can whole tomatoes
1/2 onion, peeled
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp pizza seasoning (or crushed red pepper flakes + italian seasoning)
salt, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz sliced mushrooms
crushed black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350*F.
Start with the polenta. Mix water, cornmeal, and salt in a baking dish. I separated the mix into half, and divided it among 2 oven-safe bowls in order to prepare individual servings. The cornmeal will settle to the bottom, and the water will be a bit cloudy. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and mix in the butter. Once butter is melted, return the polenta to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. You'll know the polenta is fully baked when it's not jiggling and the top is dry. Remove from oven, and stir in cheese and red pepper flakes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

While the polenta is baking, start the tomato & mushroom topping. Heat olive oil in a skillet, and add mushrooms. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally  until mushrooms browned and fragrant. Mix in black pepper and red chili flakes. In a separate saucepan, add tomatoes, butter, and onion. Try to keep the onion intact, as it will be easier to discard later. Let simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once sauce thickens, remove from heat and discard onion half. Stir in pizza seasoning. Then, combine mushrooms in the tomato sauce.

To serve, scoop tomato & mushroom mixture over the polenta. Top with shredded cheese.

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