I’ve been gettin retro up in here! Last week it was the Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles from Cooking Light ’06 and lastnight it was Polenta Lasagna from Cooking Light ’05. The chilaquiles were an old recipe that was new to me, but this polenta lasagna is an old recipe that is old to me, forgotten about (but don’t mistake that as being forgettable), and rediscovered in 2010.
I made this several times before I was married when I had people over for Girls Nights complete with currently on air Sex and the City episodes and long beofre a movie was even a gleam in the writer’s eye . It is healthy, easy, and versatile. You can change it up with different meats (or meat subs – perfect when you have vegetarian girls at Girls Night) and play around with the types of veggies.
It had been put away in the vault post-marriage because of the husband’s dislike of polenta. Since he had only had it as a side dish (like grits) or prepared and grilled with no toppings, I thought maybe he would change his mind if it was IN something. What’s the harm in experimentation? He might like it. And he did!
I didn’t make too many subs or changes this time around except for replacing meatless crumbles with ground lean bison (the man is a meateater and we don’t want to push this too far) and I doubled the zucchini leaving out the mushrooms. I also only made a half batch as I tend to do with most recipes since we are still sans microwave therefore leftovers are a bit difficult.
I sauteed the meat in the pan to cook it prior to starting where the recipe begins, but then followed the rest of the steps to a T.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 piece)
- 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce, divided
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup meatless fat-free sausage, crumbled (such as Lightlife Gimme Lean)
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (16-ounce) tube of polenta, cut into 18 slices
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spoon 1/2 cup marinara sauce into an 8-inch square baking dish to cover bottom, and set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in sausage; cook 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring frequently. Add remaining marinara sauce; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
Arrange 9 polenta slices over marinara in baking dish, and top evenly with half of vegetable mixture. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese over vegetable mixture; arrange remaining polenta over cheese. Top polenta with the remaining vegetable mixture, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
While cleaning up the kitchen after, Jensen asked what I was going to do with the one piece leftover? He wanted it for lunch for tomorrow ( eaten at work where they have a microwave). He wants more?! Yes! Polenta success!