This is a meal I make quite often, and friends look for an invitation when I mention I’m making it. Preparation is much, much faster if polenta is made in advance and peppers are roasted ahead of time.
Polenta with Gorganzola and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
*Start with a good sized batch of a basic polenta recipe, and make your polenta on the thick side. “Instant” polenta takes about 5 minutes, and I use that when I can find it. Otherwise? Plain old yellow corn meal works just fine. Once cooked, pour it into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Set aside to cool. This can be done a day ahead.
Olive Oil– 2-3 tablespoons
Onion– one, loosely chopped
Garlic– 3-5 cloves, smashed
Red Peppers– 6-8 You will roast these, but I have cheated on this step and purchased already-roasted peppers from the deli. Check over by the loose olives for them.
Diced Tomatoes– one 15oz can.
Basil– dried, 1 tablespoon
Parsley– dried, 2 tablespoons
Crushed Red Pepper– 1/2 teaspoon
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper- to taste
Goranzola – crumbled. Absolutely tons of this.
1. Set oven to broil, and line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange peppers on baking sheet, and place on oven rack set 8 inches from broiler. Let peppers blacken, turning so that each side gets blackened. Remove peppers from oven and place in a container and cover tightly with saran wrap. When peppers are cool, peel and discard skins and seeds. Do not rinse! Set aside.
2. In a large sauce pot, heat olive oil to medium and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute another few minutes.
3. Loosely chop roasted peppers, and add them to the onions and garlic. Sautee for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add chopped tomatoes and their juice, and stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to medium low, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5. If it is not still set, reset oven to broil. Turn polenta out on waxed paper, slice once the long way, and then into 1/2 – 3/4 inch slices. Place on a greased baking sheet, and place under the broiler. Watch for them to get toasty, and then turn once.
6. Remove sauce from heat. With an immersion blender, puree until light and smooth. Return to heat.
7. Add basil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and crushed red pepper. If sauce is too thick, add a bit of water until it is the consistency of a standard red sauce. Adjust seasonings.
8. Once both sides of polenta are toasty, sprinky with gorgonzola and return to broiler for just a minute or two, until cheese is melted.
9. Serve sauce over polenta.
A chianti and a nice salad, and you have a little heaven right there on your plate.