Polenta is a thick cooked mixture made with cornmeal and a liquid (water, broth, or milk). When chilled, polenta solidifies and can be cut into shapes and grilled or sautéed. Polenta may be prepared ahead, covered, and refrigerated overnight.
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant cornmeal
6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
2 1/2 cups chopped tomato (about 2 large)
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large or 2 small shallots)
To prepare polenta, place cornmeal in a large saucepan. Gradually add water and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in grated cheese. Spoon polenta into a 13 x 9-inch pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly. Press plastic wrap onto surface of polenta; chill 2 hours or until firm.
To prepare sauce, combine tomato and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl; set aside.
Cut polenta into rounds using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter; coat both sides of rounds evenly with cooking spray. Grill polenta 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with tomato sauce, and sprinkle with shaved cheese. Serve immediately.
Great basic recipe, though only three stars because the sauce as written is way too plain. I made just half the recipe for husband & self. Made the polenta in the morning and poured it into a sprayed 9 inch cake pan. After it chilled, it made six pretty triangles. No good fresh tomatoes yet, so used one can of fire-roasted tomatoes with a splash of red wine, about 1 TB tomato paste, 4 kalamata olives, and 2 heaping teaspoons of pesto. Filling and delicious dinner with some asparagus and mushrooms sauteed in a little olive oil and herbs. And there's one piece of polenta left for breakfast!
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