Polenta Bake

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When using precooked polenta that has been chilled and molded solid in a loaf pan for this recipe, cut polenta in slices and lay them down on the bottom of the casserole dish instead of pouring hot, creamy polenta (cooked cornmeal) into it. Proceed as directed for the remaining steps.

Difficulty: Medium

Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 40 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked coarse-ground cornmeal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Over medium heat, cook cornmeal in salted water and milk, stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk until cooked and creamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add egg and beat in completely, followed by butter, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and half of the mozzarella.
  • Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish with olive oil; pour in polenta mixture.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over polenta, and then pour tomato sauce over it. Sprinkle garlic, oregano, and remaining mozzarella over top. Bake 25 minutes. Serve with chopped basil sprinkled over top.