Monday, August 13, 2012

Polenta Pie With Cheese and Tomato Sauce

     Here's another nifty little recipe adapted from a June 2006 issue of Gourmet magazine.  This Polenta Pie with Cheese and Tomato Sauce is another good camping dinner, all you need is a tube of unrefrigerated, precooked polenta, a jar of chunky spaghetti sauce and some grated cheese.  Cut the polenta into quarter inch slices and layer with the sauce and cheese like a lasagna.  I bought the polenta from Trader Joe's, a one pound package is only $1.99 and produced about 18 slices, just the right amount for my 8 inch oven.  You can double and triple the recipe depending on how many people you want to feed and don't be afraid to add any leftovers you may have on hand.  Grilled or sauteed vegetables, fresh herbs or cooked sausage and ground beef would also be terrific sprinkled between the layers. In my 8 inch oven, it baked with 8 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and 14 on the lid.  After 20 minutes I added the top layer of cheese and left it to cook for another 5 minutes to melt and brown.  With so few ingredients I was wonderfully surprised by how creamy and good this was.  Economical too, the whole meal was under five dollars, simple, affordable and definitely something I'll try again.

Polenta Pie With Cheese and Tomato Sauce
1 16 to 18 oz. ready-made plain polenta roll (plastic wrapped)
1 1/2 cups chunky pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tblsp grated Parmesan cheese

     Lightly oil 8 inch dutch oven.
     Cut polenta roll crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices.
     Line bottom of dutch oven with half of the slices, overlapping slightly.
     Spread 3/4 cup pasta sauce over polenta slices.
     Sprinkle with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
     Cover with another layer of polenta then the remaining 3/4 cup of pasta sauce.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and polenta is cooked through.
     Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. 
     Cover and cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese has melted and browned.
     Let pie stand for 15 minutes to firm up and cool.
     Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish.

Layer polenta slices with pasta sauce and cheese

Bake for 20 minutes then top with cheese

Bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese has melted

Surprisingly good for something so easy