Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Polenta with summer sauce

I am a die hard fan of Italian food.  Pizza, pasta, bread, if it has complex carbs I love it.  The Eat Local Challenge always forces me to find healthy substitutions for  these not so healthy items.  Insert polenta with summer sauce, it's so delicious, you won't even miss the noodles! 
Summer Sauce
2 small carrots diced
1/2 onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
4 tomatoes crushed  (to crush tomatoes run them along a box grater)
2 tsp salt
2 cups water 
1 cup red wine (optional but highly recommended!)
10-15 basil leaves 
1 tbsp pecan oil or butter 

Place oil and onions in skillet on high for about 2 minutes or until onions become fragrant.
Add in carrots and 1/2 cup of water, and a bit of the wine let this cook together stirring frequently until water is evaporated.
When water is evaporated add in garlic and another 1/2 cup water and a bit more wine cook until liquid is gone about 5 minutes.
Add in crushed tomatoes, the rest of the liquid, and salt.  Reduce heat to medium low and let the sauce simmer 10-15 minutes.
While sauce is cooking chiffonade the basil.  
Remove sauce from heat, stir in the basil and serve! 

Asiago Polenta
4 cups water
1 cup polenta
1/4 cup asiago (optional)
1/4 cup cream (optional)

Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil.
When water is boiling add in polenta stirring continuously until polenta no longer falls to the bottom of the pan.  This usually takes 2-3 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes.
When polenta has a smooth non grainy consistency stir in cream and cheese if using and cool for 5 more minutes. Add salt to taste and serve! 

This recipe is great on its own though I served grilled green tomatoes and boudin from Cleaver and Co alongside mine.  It was a great pairing! 

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