Baked Polenta with Tomato and Basil

I haven’t done a ton with polenta other than bake it into bread, but apparently it’s real tasty as the headliner at dinner too! This dish is super creamy and comfort food-y. I’ll definitely be making this again.

IMG_4437Ingredients:

Polenta:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I don’t think adding another 1/4-1/2 cup would hurt! Cheese is the best.)

Tomato Basil Sauce:

  • 1 28 ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced in half
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Set a rack in the top third of the oven, then preheat to 350 degrees.

Stir together the water, cornmeal, and salt in an 8×8″ pan.

It gets better, never fear!

It gets better, never fear!

Bake for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven.

IMG_4428Stir in the butter, continuing to stir until the butter is melted, then bake another 15 minutes, or until the top is dry and doesn’t jiggle much.

IMG_4430Stir in the red pepper flakes and cheese, then let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

IMG_4432While the polenta is baking, make the tomato sauce. I didn’t have a can of tomatoes, but did have a jar of basil tomato sauce and just cheated with that, but I’ve followed the general sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes back when I made lasagna cupcakes.

In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, including the juice, with the butter and halved onion over medium heat. Bring to a slow simmer and cook 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s reached the thickness you like your sauce. Remove and discard the onion halves.

Spoon the tomato sauce over the slightly cooled polenta, and top with basil and extra cheese.

IMG_4436It’s a warm, comforting, delicious meal. I think if you cooked up some sausage slices, they’d go super nicely on top!

This tastes the same the second day, but the consistency is better the first.

Baked Polenta with Tomato and Basil

From Joy the Baker.

Polenta:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Tomato Basil Sauce:

  • 1 28 ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced in half
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Set a rack in the top third of the oven, then preheat to 350 degrees.

Stir together the water, cornmeal, and salt in an 8×8″ pan. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir in the butter until melted. Bake another 15 minutes, or until the top is dry and doesn’t jiggle much.

Stir in the red pepper flakes and cheese, then let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

While the polenta is baking, make the tomato sauce. In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, including the juice, with the butter and halved onion over medium heat. Bring to a slow simmer and cook 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s reached the thickness you like your sauce. Remove and discard the onion halves.

Spoon the tomato sauce over the slightly cooled polenta, and top with basil and extra cheese.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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3 Responses to Baked Polenta with Tomato and Basil

  1. Mary Kate says:

    I’m going to have to try that — my stovetop version of polenta’s kind of a pain in the butt. This looks easier, and probably as tasty?

  2. Pingback: Shrimp and Cheesy Grits | sparecake

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