Polenta should be served soft from the pot, or chilled and then pan-fried. Wild mushrooms, cheese, fresh herbs, and olives are good additions to this grain. If you can get a hold of it, try ricotta salata in place of the Parmesan cheese. If you don't want to use quinoa, you can simply use an equivalent amount of cornmeal in its place.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
40 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a small bowl whisk together 2 cups water with the cornmeal, quinoa and salt. Bring the remaining 2 cups water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Stir the cornmeal mixture into the boiling water, and continue stirring. Be careful! The polenta may spit and sputter and the hot bits of polenta can burn. Turn the heat to very low and cook the polenta for 40 minutes; stirring with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes.

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  • Make the tomato sauce while the polenta cooks: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onions. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they have softened. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and the garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, sherry, chili flakes and oregano. When the sauce comes to a boil turn the heat to low. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

  • When the polenta has cooked for 40 minutes, sprinkle the green onions and grated cheese into the polenta. Stir well. Mound the polenta on plates, make a well in the center of each mound and ladle in the tomato sauce. Garnish with the shaved cheese.

Cook's Notes:

Look for coarse-ground organic yellow cornmeal. If you don't have quinoa, you can use 1/2 cup more cornmeal to make the polenta.

Try adding ricotta salata cheese to the polenta in place of the grated Parmesan.

Nutrition Facts

395 calories; protein 15.1g 30% DV; carbohydrates 56.8g 18% DV; fat 13.7g 21% DV; cholesterol 13.2mg 4% DV; sodium 1089.6mg 44% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (18)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/27/2003
This turned out to be a wonderful Valentines Day dinner for two. The sauce was wonderful -- we added more mushrooms and left out the green onions and enjoyed it immensely! We actually simmered the sauce for about three hours and thought it really helped the flavor intensify. For the polenta we used only cornmeal and it turned out wonderfully. Read More
(11)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/08/2003
My husband loved this. I found the sauce a little too sweet. I may try a different sauce next time. Read More
(4)
27 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 13
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2003
This turned out to be a wonderful Valentines Day dinner for two. The sauce was wonderful -- we added more mushrooms and left out the green onions and enjoyed it immensely! We actually simmered the sauce for about three hours and thought it really helped the flavor intensify. For the polenta we used only cornmeal and it turned out wonderfully. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
01/22/2003
This was sooo gooood! However I didn't put as many green onions in the polenta - I just put in one bunch and I didn't use the quinoa. The tomato sauce was excellent. Thanks Jen! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
01/15/2006
My husband and I LOVED this recipe! It was so good and it was our first polenta recipe. The only differences I made were that I used regular mushrooms rather than portabella (as they are not my favorite) and I added more red pepper flakes as we like things spicy! This was SO GOOD - just loved the parm and the green onions in the polenta - I thought it was a wonderful addition. Thanks! Read More
(8)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/11/2009
I was desperately looking for something new to use some of the overabundance of roma tomatoes from the garden. Used about 5 peeled and whole romas (for 2 servings) and balsamic vinegar instead of sherry. A keeper recipe with or without the quinoa. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
09/30/2007
This recipe was delicious!!! I loved the quinoa in the polenta and the tomato sauce was quite tasty. I didn't use as much onion as was called for but otherwise followed the recipe. Looking forward to having this again--thanks for sharing! Read More
(5)
Rating: 4 stars
12/15/2009
Be sure to have bread on the side! Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/25/2007
Very good. I had to cook the polenta a little longer to get the consistency that I wanted but it was "lick you plate clean" good. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
08/30/2006
This turned out great. Great presentation. Great combination of flavors with the mildness of the polenta and the sweet spiciness of the sauce. A great romantic dinner for me and my girlfriend. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
01/22/2003
Portobello mushrooms add a wonderful flavour Read More
(4)
Rating: 3 stars
08/08/2003
My husband loved this. I found the sauce a little too sweet. I may try a different sauce next time. Read More
(4)