Polenta is medium- to coarse-ground cornmeal, cooked in hot liquid. Some view it as an essential comfort food. It can be cooked on the stovetop, similarly to rice. It can also be baked, or fried. When cooked like rice, it "sets up" (congeals) quickly, so cook it just before you serve the meal.
Start the tomato sauce early in the morning, or even the day before. Or substitute a jar of store-bought, if you're short on time.
This vegan meal is filling without it, but if you have a meat-eater in the house who can't go without, cook some ground beef or bulk Italian sausage to add to the plate.
Peppers and Onion on Polenta
Adapted from DinnerTool.com
For the Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ Vidalia onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 large cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil OR 1 tablespoon fresh
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano OR 1 tablespoon fresh
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup polenta
- 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- Early in the day, or they day prior, make the tomato sauce: Saute the onions in olive oil, when they have started cooking add the garlic. Stir often, the garlic will cook faster than the onions. The mixture will be ready when the onions are translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. You can add the sugar now too if you would like, but I like to wait until the sauce has simmered for a while to taste test it first.
- Let the sauce simmer for a few hours. The longer it simmers the thicker it will get.
- Finish making the meal: Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and saute the peppers and onions about three minutes. Add the tomato sauce, and let simmer for five minutes.
- While the vegetables are simmering, prepare the polenta according to package directions.
- When finished, divide the polenta among four plates. Top each with vegetables and sauce.