Baked Polenta, Lasagna Style
- 2 cups coarse cornmeal or polenta
- 5 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- Optional additions:3 oz Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 box frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1/2 lb Italian sausage, grilled or cooked in a frying pan
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add salt and whisk in the cornmeal in a steady stream, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and stir continuously for about 15 minutes, until the cornmeal and water have turned into a smooth paste.
- Turn the polenta (the cornmeal mush) out onto a cookie sheet and smooth it out. Let it rest until it is firm and cool. Slice it into strips about 3 inches (8cm) wide and about 6 inches (16cm) long and place the strips on a piece of wax paper.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190.5°C). Lightly oil a 9x13-inch (23x35cm) lasagna pan or other oven-proof shallow serving dish.
- Pour about 1/2 cup (120mL) of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place the slices of polenta in the pan, alternating with the slices of mozzarella cheese, until all the cheese and polenta are used up. Pour the rest of the marinara sauce over the casserole and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or so, until the lasagna is bubbly, the cheese is melted, and a wonderful aroma permeates your house.
- If desired, the Gorgonzola can be sprinkled over the top, or the spinach or sausage can be layered in-between the polenta and the mozzarella.
- Makes 4 generous servings.
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