Cheese and Basil Polenta Recipe

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Cheese and Basil Polenta

A tomato-basil sauce is generously spooned over layers of baked cheese and polenta for this meatless main dish recipe.

  • 1-1/2 cups shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 recipe Tomato-Basil Sauce (see below)
  • Fresh basil (optional)
  • In a medium bowl stir together fontina cheese, Parmesan cheese, and basil. Set aside.
  • For polenta, in a medium saucepan bring 2-3/4 cups water to boiling. Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together cornmeal, the 1 cup cold water, and salt. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to very low. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally .
  • Pour one-third of the hot mixture to a greased 2-quart square baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers, ending with the hot mixture. Cool for 1 hour. Cover with foil and chill several hours or overnight until firm.
  • Bake polenta, uncovered, in a 350 degrees F oven about 40 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Tomato-Basil Sauce. If desired, garnish with additional basil.
  • Makes 6 main-dish servings
  • Tomato-Basil Sauce: In a medium saucepan cook 3/4 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves garlic, minced, in 2 tablespoons hot butter or margarine until onion is tender. Carefully stir in two 14-1/2-ounce cans whole Italian-style tomatoes, undrained and cut up; half of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) tomato paste; 1/2 teaspoon sugar; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes or to desired consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed. Cook 5 minutes more. Makes about 3 1/3 cups sauce.
Nutrition Facts
  • Calories 310, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Monounsaturated Fat 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 47 mg, Sodium 969 mg, Carbohydrate 29 g, Total Sugar 6 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 14 g. Daily Values: Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 34%, Calcium 27%, Iron 14%. Exchanges: Vegetable 1, Starch 1.5, Medium-Fat Meat 1, Fat 1.5.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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