Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What's for Dinner? (9/5/06)

I started out planning last night's meal with only one ojective - to use the zucchini I bought at the store Friday night before it went bad. The rest was a big, fat unknown.

After browsing through recipes and thinking about what we had on hand, I decided that maybe polenta would be part of it. Last week I bought 2 tubes of Melissa's Organic Polenta. I didn't buy it for a specific recipe, but just to keep on hand. Turns out it was a good thing to have on hand for tonight.

Now I had to come up with a tasty sauce, using zucchini, to go over the polenta. My family is not all that crazy about zucchini, so I decided that the sauce had to be very flavorful and full of other things they did like. That's how the Italian sausage came in - everything tastes better with a little pork fat, right?

I thought about using diced tomatoes as the base of the sauce, but I found 1/3-1/2 a jar of Muir Glen Cabernet Marinara Pasta Sauce. Marinara pasta sauce? Isn't that a bit redundant? It didn't look like that was going to be enough sauce, so I added a small can of tomato sauce. Turns out that was a little too much sauce - it's hard to keep a polenta dish layered if it's too soupy - but it was better than it being too dry. To add more flavor to the sauce, I added some crushed garlic, chopped kalamata olives, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

I sliced the polenta and put it in a single layer in a shallow baking dish - or as close to a single layer as I could get - my slices could have been a little thicker, I guess. I topped the polenta with the sauce, some fresh mozzarella (another leftover getting used - hurray) and some Parmigiana Reggiano.

I baked the dish at 350ยบ for about 20 minutes.

It was very good! Not bad for an off-the-cuff meal and I was very excited to once again be using up things around the house that were in danger of being wasted. I'd do it pretty much the same way again, just cutting down a bit on the sauce.

Supplies are getting low and I won't get to the store until after dinner tonight, so tonight's dinner may be tricker and it's an activity night for us, so probably just tomato soup and grilled cheese............

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  1. Wow! This looks very tasty.

  2. Hi Duane. Thanks. The leftovers were very tasty too. :)

  3. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Tried your recipe tonight & it was GOOD! Will definitely make again!

  4. Thank you for letting me know you tried and enjoyed the recipe. Glad it worked out for you. :)