Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Polenta w/ Veggies and Tomato Sauce and a side of growth

Mmm...polenta.  Tasty, warm, and perfect for a chilly day.  It's a great alternative when you are burned out on pasta, but in the mood for a great tomato sauce, and a simple way to have dinner at home for your 2 year 6 month, monthiversary (say it with me, "Aww.")

If you haven't eaten polenta before, it has the consistency of firm grits, and is super easy to cook, just stock and polenta, and you are good to go.  While I like to be a making-it-from-scratch kind of gal, today, I went with prepared polenta because that's what I had on hand.

My fella and I switch out grocery shopping every week and this weekend was his turn.  He bought the prepared polenta, although I would've preferred to make it from scratch. I'm the first to admit I can be particular and down right anal about items from the grocery store, but I've learned a thing or two in 2 years and 6 months.  If I make a fuss about the type of polenta he bought, then he will feel bad, and eventually, I'll feel bad when I realize how incredibly stupid I'm being.  In addition, if I try to project my particular craziness onto him, that's not going to work and he'll eventually refuse to go to the store, because I'm being crazypants. Sometimes, you need to just tone down the diva.  I'd like to say it's a lesson I always remember, but hey, at least I remembered it this time!

The benefit of prepared polenta for this dish is that it makes life simpler.  If you make the polenta from scratch, you'd need to cook it, which take about 15 minutes, then refrigerate it, THEN slice it and sear in a pan. As my fellow blogger and HILARIOUS woman, Eimear commented in her post for pot pies about using prepared puff pastry vs from scratch, "Now tell me who in God's name has a) the time, or b) the inclination to do that?  Just buy it.  You're keeping someone in a job.  Good for you." So what I'm basically saying in a very round about way, is that my fella actually did me a solid by buying the prepared polenta, but I won't give him the satisfaction of saying so.

Polenta with Veggies and Tomato Sauce
Prepared polenta, one tube (Look for it in the refrigerator aisle)
1/2 tbsp and 1 tsp Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 yellow squash, chopped
1/2 cup of mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 cup tomato Sauce
1/4 cup red wine
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Peperoncini Peppers (optional)

Slice polenta 1/2 inch thick. Begin searing, 2-3 minutes per side in a hot non-stick pan with 1 tsp oil.  Keep warm in oven as you prepare the sauce. While polenta is cooking, heat rest of oil in a skillet.  Saute garlic for about 1 minute, then add onion.  Cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes, then add squash and mushrooms.  Cook until mushroom and squash begin to break down, and add oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  Add tomato sauce and red wine and simmer for 5 minutes to develop flavor, longer if you have the time.  To serve, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and have peppers on the side for added flavor.

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