Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Polenta Lasagna with Vegetable Bolognese

It's tough coming up with new recipes when we have, oh... 650 posts already! I've decided to go back to a few basics and switch them up a bit. Polenta is one of my favorite starches, it's like a cross between potatoes and pasta, and it's very versatile! Again, I made my own polenta rounds, but you can always but them at the store, or just cut long strips like noodles.
I also tend to use a basic marinara when making lasagna, so to make this heartier and healthier, I made a vegetable bolognese. It added so much flavor and depth.
I was going to make a mascarpone filling rather than ricotta, but I couldn't find any mascarpone at Kroger.
This meal was amazing. It turned into more of a casserole than a lasagna, but had we let it cool a bit and set before we dug in, the layers would be more visible. This would be a great alternative for a make ahead and freeze meal.

Polenta Lasagna with Vegetable Bolognese

2 c. vegetable stock
1 c. skim milk
1 1/2 c. polenta
(these ratios may be different, check your package or just add more stock/water if it's too thick)
salt and pepper
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

Ricotta Mixture:
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
chopped fresh oregano and parsley

1 tbsp. EVOO
1 green bell pepper, chunked
1 yellow bell pepper, chunked
1 small zucchini, chunked
4 oz. cremini mushrooms
1 carrot, peeled, chunked
2 celery stalks, chunked
1 large yellow onion, chunked
3 garlic cloves, smashed
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 c. dry red wine
1 15 oz. can tomato puree
2 tbsp. chopped fresh italian herbs
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
Crushed red pepper flakes

First, prepare the polenta.
Bring the stock and milk to a rolling boil, whisk in the polenta, turn to low.
Cook according to package (I buy organic polenta in bulk, takes around 15 minutes).
Take off heat, whisk in salt, pepper and parmesan.
Spread on a lined baking sheet, place in the fridge for an hour or more.

To make bolognese:
Heat a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add EVOO.
Add vegetables (in small batches) to the food processor.
Pulse until they are in a fine mince.
Add to the pan with EVOO.
Continute with all vegetables, season havily with salt and pepper.
Stir and cook until all moisture is cooked out and vegetables begin to brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Add tomato paste and wine. reduce.
Add tomatoes and spices, stir and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Add all ricotta mixture ingredients to a small bowl, stir to combine.
Add 1/3 of the bolognese to a baking dish, top with half the polenta rounds.
Spread the ricotta over the polenta, top with another 1/3 of the sauce.
Add the rest of the polenta rounds, top with sauce and mozzarella cheese shreds.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

It doesn't plate so pretty when it's still hot, but here's a look...


Joanne said...

You are seriously one of the prolific bloggers around! 600+ recipes and still going strong. That is awe-inspiring.

I love polenta and the idea of it in this "lasagna" is excellent.

Mendie said...

Love the fact you are using a Longaberger baking dish! I worked there for 7 years!

SOOOO many of your recipes look delish....and I'm so ready to try the monster cookies!

I'm gonna add you to my links...your recipes and your weightloss are an inspiration! Thank you!