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May 2013 Recipes

Recipe Archive

Polenta Lasagna

Serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS:

1 Polenta recipe - Cut into 3 pieces to fit your baking dish.        
1 c. ricotta, drained
1 cup Quick Tomato Sauce                    
1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Spinach Layer recipe
1 Italian Sausage Layer (optional)
2 c. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces

DIRECTIONS:
Gently mix the 3 cheeses together adding a few grinds of black pepper and nutmeg.  Lightly oil a 16” x 16”  baking dish and put down one layer of polenta followed by the spinach.  Top spinach layer with 1/3 of the cheese mixture.  Follow with another polenta layer - this time adding the sausage and another 1/3 of the cheese mixture.  Top with final piece of polenta and spoon the tomato sauce, sprinkling the remaining cheese over all.

Oven-Roasted Polenta

INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups medium-coarse or coarse cornmeal, preferably organic stone-ground  
6 cups water (or half water/ half milk)
1/2 c. sweet corn
4 Tbs. butter or olive oil
2 T. mixed dried herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, parsley)
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 T. salt; more to taste
    
DIRECTIONS:


Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 3-qt. nonstick ovenproof skillet; pour in the cornmeal, water, milk (if using), butter, and salt and stir with a fork until blended. The mixture will separate and take more than half the cooking time to come together. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Stir the polenta, taste, add salt if needed, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the parmesan cheese.  Let the polenta rest in the pan for 5 minutes before pouring it into a buttered cookie sheet or onto a wooden board to cool.  The polenta should be no more than 3/8 inch thick.

Quick Tomato Sauce


INGREDIENTS:
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 16-oz. can plum tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped



DIRECTIONS:
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, parsley, a generous pinch of salt, and a couple grinds of pepper. Cook until the onion is pale gold, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, stir well, and simmer gently to blend the flavors and reduce the sauce to about 2 cups, 20 minutes (adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer). Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you want a smoother texture, pass the sauce through a food mill or purée in a food processor. This sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.

Spinach Layer

INGREDIENTS:
2 lb. fresh spinach, or 2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 T. unsalted butter or 2 T. olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt


DIRECTIONS:
If using fresh spinach, stem and rinse it well; don’t dry the leaves. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, cook the spinach until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well, squeeze out the excess moisture, and chop finely. If using thawed frozen spinach, squeeze it dry. Melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and toss it for 1 or 2 minutes to coat it with the butter. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.

Italian Sausage Layer



INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. Italian bulk sausage

1 T. olive oil for pan

DIRECTIONS:
In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add the sausage to the pan by breaking it up into small pieces. Cook about 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Set aside to cool.

Download a PDF of the October 2014 recipes.