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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Polenta Pesto Heaven

Wow is all I really have to say here.  I've been venturing out lately in about everything I've created recently.  It's all been edible but nothing has stood as vibrantly flavored as this dish.  And the best part?  It was SOOOOOO simple.  All of these ingredients could be made from scratch and it would probably taste even more fantastic but given certain time constraints...I.E. Having a toddler running around, I think recipe taste amazing as it is. 

1 tube polenta (I used an herbed variety)
1 jar Classico Alfredo sauce
1 jar Classico Marinara sauce
1 bag shredded Italian Cheese
Pesto (I used about 3/4 of the pre-made kind)
1 medium onion - chopped
1 small pepper - chopped
6 oz mushrooms - chopped
1 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c. dry white wine

Preheat oven to 400.  Slice polenta about 1/4' thick.  Prepare baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.  Bake polenta till crispy and flip to other side.  This should take about 6-8 minutes per side.  Once crisped, remove from oven and let cool.
  While baking polenta, heat olive oil in medium skillet over med-high heat.  Saute onion 3-4 minutes and add pepper.  Saute an addition 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, butter and marjoram.  By this time you should have some nice brown spots on the bottom of your pan.  Deglaze the pan with the wine and make sure you stir frequently to get all those yummy bits off the bottom.  Continue sauteing an addition 2 minutes. 
  Prepare 8x10 (ish) baking dish by coating bottom of pan with 1/2 c. marinara sauce.  Layer in polenta. Spread a tsp of pesto on each polenta slice. Top with mushroom mix.  At this point you could add a protein of your choice.  I used about 1/2 c. veggie crumbles.  You could omit this altogether if you want it to be completely gluten free.  Top with about 1/2 c. alfredo and 1/2 c. marinara.  Sprinkle on 1/2 c. cheese.
  Repeat with remaining polenta, pesto and sauce.  You'll want to make sure the sauce on top covers all the edges of the polenta.  Bake uncovered about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle 1 c. cheese.  Move pan closer to heat source in the oven and continue baking an additional 10 minutes until top is melted and bubbly all over. 
  Let stand 10 minutes before digging in! 

*I will definitely up the quantities next time.  This would probably serve 5-6 for dinner if accompanied with a salad and some garlic bread.  In my house it lasted barely 24 hours. 

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