THREE CHEESE POLENTA LASAGNA
by Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat
Ready for a curveball? This lasagna is noodle-free. The same basic principle of lasagna construction applies, but, in place of pasta, polenta hugs the cheesy layers of Fontina, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. A unique and most delicious surprise, you won't need steroids to throw this towards the plate.
Sauce Yield: 2¼ cups sauce.
• 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
• 1 cup ricotta cheese
• 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 large egg
• 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 2 cups water
• 1½ cups whole milk
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup yellow cornmeal
• 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 small white onion, chopped
• 2 small garlic cloves, minced
• 1 (28oz) can whole Italian style tomatoes, undrained, crushed by hand
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13x9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. As well, coat an 8x8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set both aside.
2) In a medium bowl, stir together Fontina, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, basil and salt. Set aside.
3) For the polenta, in a large saucepan, bring water, milk and salt to a boil over high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal and reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often with a wooden spoon until mixture is very thick, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and butter. Immediately transfer to the 13x9-inch baking dish, spreading evenly to coat the bottom. Let polenta set for 10 minutes. Slice into 12 pieces and then slice each piece lengthwise to make thinner, lasagna-like noodles, to total 24 slices.
4) To assemble, lay 8 polenta slices on the bottom of the 8x8-inch baking dish. Top with half of the Fontina-ricotta mixture, followed by another 8 polenta slices. Spread remaining cheese mixture over polenta and finish with final 8 slices. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and heated through. Let sit 5 minutes before cutting, serving each piece topped with tomato basil sauce.
5) For the tomato sauce, while polenta bakes, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.