“… i have deprived myself for too long …”
Have you ever noticed in the grocery store in the dried pasta section, the rolls of ready made polenta? Have you ever wondered what the what is that all about? OR, are you an ol’ Ready-Made-Polenta pro and have served it in your household for eons? I’ve always been leery of anything pre-made and packaged, so I’ve self-rightously stayed away. Yikes! Big big mistake guys! My devotement to all things fresh has caused me to miss out on a simple, quick and quite frankly, delicious dish here at the cabin.
I have deprived myself for too long. Today I got off of my high horse and scooped a roll into my basket.
Why the sudden interest in polenta, you may ask? It’s actually not sudden. In my little head, I’ve been obsessing about it for years because I’ve been eating it at various eateries through out the valley. But I’ve never just bitten the bullet to build any. Well now, since I am a food blogger chickie, I need to expand my horizons and maybe push my envelope a wee bit. You may be shaking your head thinking, really Briggy, really?
Yes. REALLY. I’m a very simple gurl.
As many wonderful Italian dishes encompass beautiful tomato sauces, so shall my ready made polenta. Quick roasted Romas, buttery mushrooms and salty bacon are the other ingredients that encompassed our crispy pan fried polenta. It all came together in an easy snap and after the first bite or two, there was a frenzied clap-clap-clap coming from my hands-hands-hands.
Roma tomatoes are in their full glory right now! Take advantage of them!
The wild mushrooms were a special treat for us today; but I can assure you that any mushroom will do. Because any mushroom sautéed + butter = divineness for the taste buds.
I played around with the thickness in the cut of the polenta roll and learned that a little thicker is better. About a 1 inch thickness will give you a beautiful plate. Try and get a good crust on that disc when you pan fry it; there’s so much flavour in the crust.
Lay me down on a bed of home made tomato sauce and cover me with buttery mushrooms and bacon. We will be friends for life.
- For The Tomato Sauce
- 4 Roma tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 Cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- Freshly ground pepper
- For The Polenta
- 1 18 oz Roll Of Ready Made Polenta, cut into 1 inch thick slices (you should have about 8 slices)
- 6 Rashers of Bacon, chopped
- ½ Pound of Wild Mushrooms, or any mushroom of your choice, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees c.
- For the tomato sauce:
- Place the smashed garlic and tomato quarters cut side up on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with sugar and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees c for about 30 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes then transfer the roasted tomatoes to a blender. Pulse to blend a few times creating a chunky tomato sauce. Set aside.
- For the polenta:
- Over medium heat, heat butter until melted and bubbly. Add sliced mushrooms and stir occasionally until water is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in fresh thyme. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and set aside.
- Wipe out the mushroom pan, and cook your bacon pieces over medium heat until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a plate and keep warm.
- Remove all of the bacon fat from the pan except for 2 tablespoons. Heat the pan to medium high heat and place in your polenta slices. Fry until a golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- To Assemble:
- On a platter or on individual plates, spoon the tomato sauce on the plate and place the polenta slices onto the sauce in the centre of the plate. Top with mushrooms and bacon. Sprinkle with fresh Italian parsley and drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!