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Pasta and Rice Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners
Polenta 4/1/2010

QUICK POLENTA LASAGNA

Submitted by: Stacy McPherson

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Servings: 4 +

Comments:
This is a quick option to our polenta and meat sauce recipe that requires several time-consuming steps. Start with store-bought polenta and Italian sausage, add a little effort, and in about an hour you have a nice home-cooked meal that tastes like more effort than it took.

We got this recipe from Stacy, who found it in one of Tom's client's cookbooks, Everyday Family Dinners by Sara Moulton.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 16- to 18-ounce log cooked plain polenta
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 ounces sliced mozzarella

Directions:
Place an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil an 8-inch square pan.

Finely chop the onion (about 1 cup). Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice the sausage into 1/2-inch pieces; add the sausage to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sausage is no longer pink. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it has softened. Press the garlic (about 2 tablespoons; we usually mince it) into the pan and cook for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes with their juice and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until most of the juice has evaporated and the mixture is saucy; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cut the polenta into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Heat another 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium and add half the polenta slices in one layer. Saute the polenta for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown; turn the polenta and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the second side begins to brown. Remove the polenta slices and arrange to cover the bottom of the oiled baking pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining polenta (remove the slices to a plate if the sauce has not finished cooking).

Microplane-grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 1/2 cups) or grate on the fine side of a box grater (about 2/3 cup). When the sauce has finished cooking, spoon half over the polenta in the pan. Top it with half the mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat layering the remaining polenta, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake the lasagne for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned. Cut into 4 ervings and transfer to dinner plates.

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