FOR THE POLENTA:
1 cup polenta
4 cups water or vegetable stock
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:
2 cups canned, chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine (or veg broth)
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
chopped fresh basil or italian parsley (for garnish)
TO PREPARE THE POLENTA:
Gradually add the polenta to the 4 cups water or stock, stirring as it is added to prevent lumps from forming. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, about every 5 minutes for about 30-40 minutes. The polenta burns easily. It has finished cooking when the mixture is hard to stir and the stirring spoon is able to stand within the polenta. Before it becomes too thick, you may want to add salt to taste. Add small amounts of liquid if the cornmeal is not cooked and too much liquid has evaporated.
Once cooked, transfer the polenta to a baking dish or cookie sheet and smooth out until it is a uniform height. Allow to cool somewhat.
WHILE THIS IS COOLING PREPARE THE TOMATO SAUCE:
To start the sauce, puree the tomatoes with their canned liquid. Set aside.
Braise the onions in red wine with the garlic, basil and oregano.
When tie wine has been reduced and the onions are tender, add the pureed tomatoes. Cook for about an hour, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and with little visible liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. There should be about 1 1/2 cups sauce.
Serve the polenta with tomato sauce ladled over the top. Garnish with basil or Italian parsley.
POLENTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE AND ZUCCHINI
1 cup polenta (above recipe)
vegetarian tomato sauce (above recipe)
3/4 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tbsp dried oregano, chopped
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare 1 cup polenta and tomato sauce as per the instructions for Polenta with Vegetarian Tomato Sauce. Set the polenta out in a pan.
Toss the sliced zucchini with the garlic, basil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, place on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
After the polenta has been assembled, ladle the tomato sauce evenly over the polenta and arrange the zucchini over the sauce.
Bake for 15 minutes more.