Fact: I love creating a delicious dish from ingredients I need to use up in the fridge!
This simple polenta lasagna was inspired by the unused cheese from the pizza I made the week before and the fresh tomato basil sauce (YUM!) I had frozen from a few weeks prior. I also had never cooked with polenta before, making this dish somewhat exciting for me.
Another fact: It’s pretty hard to get my hubby to eat a meatless dish and fully enjoy it…but he was surprisingly satisfied!
So, here’s my recipe:
- 1 package of organic polenta from Trader Joe’s
- 2 Tbs. EVOO
- 1 cup shredded mozarella
- 2-3 cups of fresh tomato basil sauce (recipe below)
- 1 Tbsp. of oregano
Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce (adopted from Martha Stewart):
- 2 pounds unrefrigerated ripe tomatoes (preferably plum)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from 2 garlic cloves), plus more if desired
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (shiny side up). Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of EVOO onto the foil and brush to make sure all the foil is covered.
2. Cut the polenta into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place slices on the foil lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until crispy).
3. Blend all ingredients for the fresh tomato basil sauce in a food processor.
4. Place baked polenta in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Sprinkle with a light layer of mozzarella.
5. Then, pour and spread three fourths (3/4) the fresh tomato basil sauce over the polenta and cheese (save one fourth [1/4] of the sauce for the end). Repeat step 4 until Polenta slices are gone. Pour the rest of your sauce over the top. Then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese and oregano on top.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is brown, bubbly, and beautiful. Wa-la!
Don’t be afraid to experiment by adding your own spin. For example, add a layer of sautéed zucchini, eggplant, spinach or red bell pepper; or even make this on top of a crispy sourdough toast (my hubby’s suggestion).
I hope you try this recipe and see for yourself how delicious a homemade polenta lasagna can be! Let me know if you have any questions!
BTW: Photo credit to Martha Stewart and the Four Seasons Organic Farm.