Baked Polenta Pie

We’ve had a very mild winter so far, but we finally got some snow on Saturday. I don’t mind the snow as long as I am looking at it through my window:) I spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking and baking.ย I was in the mood for some good old comfort food and remembered a Baked Polenta Pie recipe I bookmarked from Bev Cooks.ย Bev’s recipe has Italian sausage in it so I decided to switch things up and create a vegetarian version of her recipe.

Baked Polenta Pie is similar to lasagna, but instead of noodles, you get a thick layer of creamy polenta as the base. I layered the pie with roasted vegetables, tomato sauce, and of course loads and loads of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. You bake the pie until bubbly and do your best to not burn your tongue when it comes out of the oven. Your house will smell so delicious you won’t want to wait to dive in.

We didn’t talk during dinner, not because we didn’t have anything to say, we were just too busy devouring our Baked Polenta Pie. It was everything I had dreamed about and more. The gooey layers of polenta, tomato sauce, roasted vegetables, and cheese all melted together to create an amazing dish. If you are looking for a comforting recipe that will warm you up and fill your belly in the best possible way, make this Baked Polenta Pie. It does not disappoint. And P.S.-it is just as good reheated the next day. I love it when leftovers come to the rescue, especially when they taste this good.

Baked Polenta Pie

A thick and creamy layer of polenta is topped with roasted vegetables, tomato sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese and baked until bubbly.

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 65 minutes

Ingredients:

To make the tomato sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of crushed red pepper
Pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the polenta pie:
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1/2 small eggplant, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season vegetables
1 cup polenta
3 cups milk (we used skim)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in garlic, tomatoes, fennel seed, basil, oregano, and red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper and let simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat.

3. While the sauce is simmering, roast the vegetables. Place zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and red pepper on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables are done roasting, set aside to cool and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

4. In a large pot, bring the milk, butter, sugar and salt to a light simmer. Slowly add the polenta to the pot, whisking constantly. Once it starts to thicken, trade the whisk out for a spoon and stir until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot. Add half of the Parmesan cheese to the polenta and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with the other half of the parmesan.

5. Evenly spread the roasted vegetables on top of the polenta. Spread the tomato sauce over the vegetables and top with grated mozzarella cheese. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Adapted from Bev Cooks

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Categories: Gluten-Free Main Dishes Vegetarian