Saturday, January 30, 2010

polenta casserole two ways

In one of my Australian Weekly Cookbooks, there are 2 recipes for polenta. The one I make most often (or version thereof) goes like this:

1 jar tomato sauce (any variation)
1 tube ready made polenta
sliced mozarella cheese
grated parmesan cheese

Into a greased casserole dish, pour ~ 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce and spread to cover the bottom of the casserole (9x13 or large, round dish). Slice the polenta and layer half over the sauce. Layer the mozarella over the polenta and top with the rest of the polenta slices. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the polenta and add the grated parmesan over the top. Bake at 350 deg F for 30-45 minutes. (I often saute onions, mushrooms and other veggies and mix into the tomato sauce to get more veggies into us.)

This week, with inspiration from Rachel Ray and Chatelaine magazine, I came up with another version - Sausage, Rosemary, Cheese Polenta.

1 tube prepared polenta
1 tube pork sausage meat, or ~ 1 lb of sausage meat removed from casings
1 medium onion, diced
sage, thyme, salt and pepper
1 1/2 oz butter
1 1/2 oz flour
500 ml (2 cups) of milk or stock or combination
fresh rosemary
grated mozarella cheese
2 tbsp sun dried tomato pesto

Cook the onion and the sausage meat until the meat is brown and the onion is transluscent. Add the sage, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Pour off the fat. Combine the butter, flour and milk/stock into a saucepan over medium high heat and whisk until blended. Cook for 5 minutes until thick. Add finely ground, fresh rosemary and the sun dried tomato pesto. Slice the polenta into about 36 slices.

Into the bottom of a greased 9x13 dish, spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Layer with 12 slices of polenta to cover the sauce. Add 1/2 the sausage mix, and 1/3 of the mozarella. Add 12 slices of polenta over the cheese and sausage. Add the remaining sausage mix and 1/3 of the mozarella. Layer the last of the polenta over the casserole and cover that with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining mozarella.
Bake or 30-45 minutes at 350 deg F.

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