Polenta Gratin with Tomato, Fontina & Rosemary

This is a combination of a about three recipes that I liked pieces of so I decided to combine them. We love the smell of this in the oven and Stephen all but licks the plate after the meal. The sauce, while not completely homemade, does a decent impersonation of sauce made from scratch but much, much faster. If you’re really lucky Kat or Sean will post in comments how they have changed this yet again to include some sort of sausage.

Tomato Sauce
1/4 c olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 14 oz. cans of Italian stewed tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
salt, chili powder, black pepper to taste
fresh rosemary & oregano to taste
dash Worcestershire sauce

Brown onion and garlic in oil. Add all other ingredients and simmer 1/2 hour -1 hour. Add a bit of water if sauce is too thick.

3 c milk
1 c cornmeal
1 c cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c grated Fontina
2 T butter

In a saucepan heat milk to simmering. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl stir together the cornmeal, water and salt. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to simmering milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture begins to simmer again, reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, over low heat about 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. During last few minutes of cooking, stir in 1/2 the Fontina and butter. Mixing spoon will almost standup in cornmeal mixture by itself, that’s how you know you’re done. On flat tray covered with wax paper, spread cornmeal mixture and let stand in refrigerator at least 1 hour (the longer you let it rest at this stage the better it is). It can sit up to 24 hours in the fridge, just cover it with plastic wrap so it won’t get too dry. Cut into squares.

1/2 c Gorgonzola
fresh rosemary
chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400°. Spread some tomato sauce in 3-quart gratin dish, then overlap the pieces of polenta with the remaining fontina. Spoon sauce in bands over the polenta, leaving the edges exposed. Repeat. Crumble Gorgonzola over top and sprinkle with rosemary and parsley. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the gratin is hot and bubbly.

1 thought on “Polenta Gratin with Tomato, Fontina & Rosemary

  1. We’ve made a couple variations on this dish, actually. 🙂 Since it’s Sean’s favorite dish in the whole world, I use it as a base recipe a lot.

    Variation 1:
    Use 4c milk in the polenta instead of 3 and stir until it’s the consistency of grits. Instead of making hard squares, layer the softer polenta with the ingredients into a casserole dish. This makes the dish a good deal faster. This polenta also makes a really great simple side dish for other meals, especially anything with lamb in it.

    Variation 2:
    While we were in Oregon this past summer, one of Sean’s cousins made a dish with polenta, zucchini and italian sausage. We both loved it. Now, we fry up the sausage and then layer the sausage and sliced zucchini with the tomato sauce and polenta.

    Hope other people enjoy this recipe of Misty’s as much as we do!

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