Since Kelly, Cliff and I are a blogging trio we sometimes blog at Kelly’s house and we sometimes blog at our house. I much prefer the KitchenAid® appliances at Kelly’s house. They are so much better than mine. I do not enjoy cooking on my old electric stove top and my dishwasher never seems to get the dishes clean. Why do I have to clean my dishes before putting them into my dishwasher?! When you dirty as many dishes as we do, it’s a problem. Although Kelly has the nicer appliances, the windows in her kitchen don’t allow for much natural light and Cliff needs natural light for better picture taking. So, we usually work at our house and I am constantly complaining about our inferior appliances. When we do work at Kelly’s, I realize how much more efficient and easier to use her KitchenAid® appliances are.
KitchenAid® challenged us to “TRADE PASTA FOR POLENTA“. I’ve only recently started eating polenta but I really love it. Much like lasagna, you can flavor it many ways. You could make a white sauce with chicken, a veggie sauce, a mushroom marsala sauce, a traditional sauce or even a Mexican version. The list goes on and on… My point is that polenta is very versatile. So for our challenge we made a lasagna, but instead of using lasagna noodles we layered cheesy polenta with a hearty red sauce loaded with vegetables, much like a ratatouille. We also threw in some goat cheese. The goat cheese really made the dish. I just love goat cheese and use it every chance I get! Lasagna is great because you can buy those no-boil noodles. You just make a sauce and layer the dry noodles with cheese and pop it in the oven. The only dirty dishes you end up with is the baking pan and the sauce pan. Makes for a quick meal with easy clean up. Polenta makes it a little messier. You have to use a few extra dishes. But this recipe is worth it. It is tasty and loaded with healthy vegetables. It is also a lighter alternative to an often heavy lasagna. Plus, if you have a KitchenAid® dishwasher like Kelly, you can just throw those dirty dishes in the dishwasher and not give them another thought. Kelly’s dishwasher features a ProScrub® Option which is an ideal solution for casserole dishes and other large platters (like our polenta lasagna recipe) that require concentrated cleaning of caramelized or baked-on messes.
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Now, about that polenta lasagna…
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 quart milk
- 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
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- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 summer squash, diced
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1 sprig of thyme
- Heat the olive oil in the medium, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the milk.
- Slowly stir in the corn meal.
- Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes; do not stir.
- It should be creamy and thick.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
- Line a 9 x13 baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the polenta evenly over the baking sheet; refrigerate.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.
- Add the onion and garlic.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the other vegetables.
- Saute an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, a pinch of salt, and pepper.
- Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Stir together the goat cheese and the thyme leaves.
- Using a drinking glass cut 12 rounds of polenta about 2 inches in diameter.
- Layer the polenta, then a spoonful of goat cheese, a spoon ful of sauce, another polenta round, more sauce and top with a dollop of goat cheese.
- Serve immediately.