Baked Polenta with Tomato Basil Sauce

By | March 3, 2013

So, how did your National Day of Unplugging go? As ashamed as I am to admit, I may have only participated 50%.

I did, however, step away from my devices long enough to do some cleaning and to make this delicious baked polenta recipe…

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Joy the Baker is one of my favorite food bloggers. Her photos and recipes always make me hungry, especially while web surfing at midnight.

The other night, I saw this baked polenta recipe that I knew I had to taste.

Its ingredients are so basic and wholesome, and the process so simple, that it’s pretty much guaranteed to be delicious.

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Of course, we had no butter in the house, and rather than schlep myself to the grocery store, I substituted three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in both the polenta and sauce.

Though my version was probably way less creamy, the Parmesan cheese gave it just enough richness that I didn’t miss the butter one bit.

I also added extra crushed red pepper flakes, along with some dried oregano, thyme, basil and ground black pepper, to the tomato sauce, but otherwise stuck to Joy’s recipe.

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Now this is exactly what Italian food should look like, right?

I loved the sweetness of the San Marzano tomato sauce with the heartiness of the polenta. Perfect for a chilly winter night.

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So easy to make and low-maintenance that, as Joy suggested, you could make it on any weeknight.

P.S. I’m heading to New Orleans next weekend, so I would love to hear your tips for must-eat restaurants and must-see attractions! I’m mining Joy’s NoLa post for inspiration, but I could use all of the recommendations I can get.

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