Growing up, the only time we ate polenta cakes was for breakfast, drenched in syrup. My siblings and I awarded this combo the name "mush". Appetizing, I know. I understand now that that wasn't a normal breakfast in most homes. But I rediscovered polenta in a more enticing form at a little brewery in Ann Arbor Andy took me to while we were dating. He would take me there and woo me over beer and polenta fries. Smart man. I was hooked... on polenta. ba-dum-chhh! The crisp polenta fries served with a sweet marinara were an oh so lovely union. We have since moved away from that little brewery and I had almost forgotten about my beloved polenta until the other day when I was struck with a craving for those darn fries. So I created a polenta/ marinara recipe but in a *plot twist* different form.
Deconstructed Polenta Lasagna
Recipe yields single serving but can easily be multipled
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 11 minutes Oven temp: 375
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cylinder of organic ready-to-serve polenta, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup marinara
- 1 Tbs fresh basil
- Fresh mozzarella ball, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Parmesan to garnish
Pour olive oil in pan on medium heat. Mince garlic and add to pan. After a few minutes, add 3 slices of polenta to pan. Allow to cook for a couple minutes until crispy on one side, then flip. (warning: polenta does contain water so oil will pop when mixed with it - I just put a paper towel over the pan so oil doesn't splatter).
Once polenta is crisp on both sides, remove cakes and garlic from pan. Mix garlic in marinara. Stack polenta in oven safe dish in the following order: polenta, mozzarella slice, and spoonful of marinara. Stack in three layers and place in oven for 10 minutes. Then broil for one minute, watching carefully so it doesn't burn. Remove from oven.
Chiffonade basil and garnish atop lasagna with parmesan to taste. Enjoy with a dry red wine, 'cause you classy and such.