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BAKED POLENTA WITH A SIMPLE TOMATO SAUCE

'bills open kitchen' by Bill Granger

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • 225 g (8 oz) instant polenta
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • simple tomato sauce (below)
    • 350 g (12 oz) fresh ricotta
    • 25 g (1/4 cup) finely grated Parmesan cheese
    • freshly ground black pepper
     

DIRECTIONS

Put 1.5 litres (6 cups) water in a large saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the salt and pour the polenta, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon, into the water in a steady stream. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
(Polenta is thick and sticky and needs to be stirred regularly so it doesn't catch on the base of the pan).

Lightly oil a 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 inch) baking dish with half the olive oil. Pour the cooked polenta into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Leave to cool and firm in the baking dish then turn out onto a cutting board. Cut the polenta into 5 cm (2 inch) squares.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Lightly grease a 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inch) gratin dish or four individual dishes with the remaining oil. Place the polenta squares in a single layer, slightly overlapping. Pour the simple tomato sauce evenly over the polenta. Sprinkle the ricotta and Parmesan cheese over the top. Season with pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
 

SIMPLE TOMATO SAUCE

    • 2 x 425 g (15 oz) tins chopped Italian tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
     

Place the tomatoes in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients, cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat.
 

 

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