Marinara Sauce – let’s get the family gathering started!

Cheese and Basil Polenta

1 ½ Cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

⅓ Cup grated Romero or Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons Bff Kitchen Dried Basil rubbed between your hands 

1 Cup cornmeal or polenta 

2 ¾ Water for boiling

1 Cup ice cold water

½ teaspoon Bff Kitchen Garlic salt

3 Cups Marinara sauce

In a medium bowl stir together Monterey cheese and Romero/Parmesan cheese and basil.

Butter a square 2-quart baking pan (9 x 9 or 8 x 8)

In a medium saucepan bring the 2 ¾ cup water to boil to boiling. Meanwhile in a medium bowl mix polenta/cornmeal, garlic salt, and ice-cold water.  Slowly add the polenta mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly and bring back to boiling.  Turn heat down to low and keep stirring till the mixture thickens in approximately 12-15 minutes.

Pour 1/3rd of the mixture into the prepared pan sprinkles 1/2 of cheese mixture on top of the polenta, repeat with the remaining polenta and cheese ending with the polenta on top. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

When the polenta is firm, bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until the top is lightly brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving, serve with a marinara sauce and fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese.

Polenta can be a appetizer, side dish or served as a main dish. Wonderful served with roasted mushrooms with sage or topped with marinara sauce. A very versatile dish, wonderful side dish for Thanksgiving and holidays instead of a bread dish, this dish is flavorful with a rich gravy or roasted vegetables. There is a variety ways to cook and serve polenta from this recipe or as a creamy side dish instead of mashed potatoes.

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