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I made this tonight. It was pretty good. I did have problems with browning the polenta under the broiler. It just wouldn’t brown! So I took it out and fried it in a skillet. It still took a long time to brown. What’s the deal? I did make my own polenta (for the first time) I only had a medium grind on hand. It was easy. Made it at night and put it in a oiled glass bread loaf pan; covered it with wax paper right up against the polenta and stuck it in the refrigerator over night. It came out easy and sliced up easy as well when it came time to cook dinner the next night.
I feel your frustration. The deal with polenta is it takes forever to brown! I love crispy polenta slices, but getting them that way is a test in patience. Firm polenta slices still have a lot of moisture, and that’s why they are so slow to brown. I have also found homemade polenta takes longer to brown than the stuff in the tube from the store. The flipside is it has a better texture and flavor, IMO.
As for broilers, they vary so much. Some burn things in the blink of an eye, while others can barely even manage toasting a slice of bread in five minutes.
Thanks for sharing with us!
I substituted soy chorizo for the sausage, making it a vegetarian meal. It was great. My family didn’t even notice.
Made this tonite and it was Delicious-we all had seconds!
I made this for dinner tonight. It is so good. My husband was very impressed. What a great comfort food. Loved it
When I was a child living in the county, one of the things we often had for breakfast was what Mom called Cornmeal mush. I was the one that had to stir it, and I took pride in not having any lumps in it! We ate it with milk and sugar like a hot cereal. Mom spread the lefovers in a buttered square baking pan and smoothed it evenly on top. The next morning she cut the cold mush in squares (like corn bread) and browned both sides melted butter in a hot cast iron skillet. We ate the fried polenta with syrup. Yummy!
I also like to serve it with just salt and pepper and serve with eggs. This is a very economical meal and delicious!
I decided on the pre-cooked polenta after I discovered what it took to make polenta from scratch. Pre-cooked polenta is not carried by Publix or Kroger. I found it at Whole Foods.
The recipe quantities for the amount of pre-cooked polenta and mozzarella did not really work for a 9×13 baking dish. I bought two packages of polenta (12oz each) and only needed one and a half. The mozzarella quantity is way too much. I bought four 1/4 inch slices(which were way to thick) and it was almost 1 1/4 pounds. I think using shredded mozzarella would be much better. Plus you could cover the entire baking dish.
I altered the tomato sauce a bit by adding thyme and basil in addition to the oregano (all dried). I also used hot turkey sausage.
Dish was very good (my daughter and her boy friend went back for seconds) but next time I will use slightly smaller sized slices of polenta and use shredded mozzarella.
Is there a substitute for broiling? My oven is missing the tray in the broiler, but I would like to try this recipe.
You use the broiler to brown the polenta and the cheese in this recipe. If you just use the oven (cook at 400°F until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted), you won’t get the browning, but it will still be good. ~Elise
I made this last night. It had a nice flavor, however I didn’t have any polenta, so I substituted some grits we had at hand–everything looked the same, but the grits didn’t seem to have the same cohesive properties of the polenta, so it ended up a little soupy. Everyone still liked it though!
Is it safe to broil in a glass pan? I’ve heard horror stories about exploding pyrex dishes.
Here’s an interesting thread on broiling and pyrex at Metafilter. We broil casseroles all the time in our oven without a problem, but that’s probably because it’s a casserole, and the casserole is mediating the heat and because of the casserole there isn’t a big temperature differential throughout the pyrex. That said, if it is a concern, use a metal pan. ~Elise
I made this for dinner tonight and it was a BIG hit. My husband loved it and said he could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting! (I forced him to stop so we could have some for leftovers tomorrow.)
We particularly like the little kick the sauce gets by adding the red pepper flakes. I also used a spicy Italian sausage so it was really nice and “kicky.”
I’ve been finding terrific recipes from here for quite a while now. Thanks for consistently sharing these amazing gifts with all of us!
I made this for the second time tonight. And it was so delicious!
My only caveat is to search out the pre-made tube of polenta. I’ve done it both way, and the pre-made saves a ton of time.
Also, I substituted Gimme Lean veggie sausage. Oh, my goodness! It was scrumptious. I plan to add this recipe as a regular rotation to our family’s diet.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You know what, I made this from the magazine (thought it looked good, too), and I thought it was rather bland. It probably would have been substantially better if I had used fresh mozarella and homemade polenta, however, and had used crushed tomatoes instead of petite diced tomatoes (which is what I usually like). It still lacked a little something for me — polenta wasn’t my favorite form of starch.
Finally made this last night – it has been on my list for ages – and it was fantastic! So easy to make and sooo good. Was just as good for lunch today! Great recipe as always Elise! Scored points with the husband!!!
This recipe was fantastic! Thank You! I was just wondering if you would be able to post how to make the polenta from scratch to go with this recipe!
This recipe is the BEST! It’s my husband’s favorite so far, and it’s great for leftovers! Does anyone know how many WW points one serving is?
I just made this this evening and it was wonderful. Someone said comfort food, heck yeah. I wanted to eat the whole pan though. I also made my own polenta because I could not find prepared stuff.Thanks so much I loved this and it will go in our permanent rotation.
This was dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I’ve got extra sausage and polenta so I’m going to freeze some for later.
I made this with some wonderful Hot Chicken Italian Sausage produced by a local grocer. I used polenta from a tube, but mixed it (mashed it up) with some (about 1/3 cup) low fat ricotta I had in the fridge and needed to use up. It was wonderful!
I made this last night and it was fantastic!! Everyone in the family gobbled it up! Thank you!
I make a version of this with Soyrizo, Mozz, soft polenta and Parm/Reggiano that never ever disappoints the carnivores, nobody misses meat when they have corn and cheese to contend with.