Polenta with Chunky Tomato Sauce and Pecorino Romano

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.


6 servings (serving size: 2 polenta rounds and 1/2 cup tomato sauce)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 251
Caloriesfromfat 24 %
Fat 6.7 g
Satfat 2.4 g
Monofat 2.4 g
Polyfat 1 g
Protein 9 g
Carbohydrate 40.4 g
Fiber 5 g
Cholesterol 14 mg
Iron 1.1 mg
Sodium 549 mg
Calcium 154 mg


1 1/2 cups uncooked instant cornmeal
6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
Cooking spray
Tomato sauce:
2 1/2 cups chopped tomato (about 2 large)
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large or 2 small shallots)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (about 12 leaves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram or oregano
1 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved pecorino Romano cheese


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.

Prepare grill.

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.

Micol Negrin,

Cooking Light

August 2005
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