Polenta and White Beans with Homemade Marinara

Polenta is an Italian dish that refers to the traditional preparation of coarse ground cornmeal cooked
steadily over medium heat into a mildly creamy porridge. It is typically made fresh, but if you’ve ever
wondered about those polenta rolls sold in grocery stores I am here to tell you that they are marvelous
and will quickly become your new favorite staple in the kitchen. Because they are pre-cooked, you
simply slice and reheat by roasting, sautéing or even grilling to caramelize the outside and then pair with
any sauce that you would otherwise throw on pasta.


The secret of this rustic yet sophisticated Polenta with White Beans and Homemade Marina dish is the
dreamy marinara that is full of vibrant tomato flavors and made with only five simple ingredients. Best
of all you can add in any grilled vegetables or protein of your choice to the polenta base for a new twist
on Italian night.

INGREDIENTS

1 tube of polenta

  • 14-oz can cannellini beans
  • 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 handful of fresh basil or parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan combine the entire can of tomatoes along with the halved onion, garlic cloves, 2 TBS olive oil and oregano. Bring the sauce to a bubble then turn down to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the entire onion after 30 minutes and discard or reserve for another recipe. Use a wooden spoon to crush the tomatoes and smash the garlic cloves against the side of the pot.  This should result in a slightly chunky and flavorful sauce. Add salt to taste. Meanwhile, slice the tube of polenta cut into ½ ‘’ rounds. Preheat large pan on medium heat, add the remaining 2 TB olive oil and cook polenta rounds 4-5 minutes per side until soft and golden.  Serve warm polenta rounds on a plate then spoon over the homemade marinara and top it off with white beans, freshly diced basil or parsley, and parmesan cheese.

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