Sunday, December 2, 2012

Polenta. Marinara & Mushrooms

Recipe 35, 36, &37
Sage Polenta pg. 221
Nana's Marinara pg. 229
Garlicky Mushrooms pg. 207

Tonight was an Italian feast.  The house smelled amazing with the aroma of garlic and onion.  It was a trifecta of recipes.  Each deserving their own due respect.
Sage Polenta & Nana's Marinara
I have never had polenta until today.  I actually had to Google polenta while at the grocery store.  I wasn't sure if I was buying a pasta, rice or bread?  It is a type of cornmeal. It was a little grainier than the cornmeal I use in gravy.  I did a little research on it and came across an article asking, "What is Polenta?"  Check it out:  I tell you it is riveting stuff!! Polenta reminds me a little of couscous in flavor, but more mushy in consistency.  The fresh sage in it tastes awesome. The recipe made a ton, so plan on having leftovers.  What makes the recipe come to life is Nana's Marinara sauce poured on top.  It is such a nice change from pasta. Here are the ingredients for the polenta.
My whole family was doing cartwheels for this marinara sauce.  Funny too because it was a cinch to make.  I cheated and used canned crushed tomatoes.  So my sauce was done lickety split.  I would double what the recipe calls for because having so much polenta leftover you will want a bit more  marinara.  Before starting this challenge I would just buy a jar of Ragu when it came to making Italian.  Who knew how easy fresh homemade sauce would be to make!  The sauce calls for a red serrano chile but I could only find a green chile.  I also added a little red chile flakes.  Hopefully Nana won't be too mad that I tweaked her recipe a bit. Here is what you will need to buy to have your family doing cartwheels too. 

The recipe that makes this meal a trifecta was the Garlicky Mushrooms.  DON'T CROWD THE MUSHROOMS!  Where have you heard that before? Yep, a direct quote from Julia/Julia.  It is true though.  I had no idea how great these would be, and how well they would compliment the rest of the meal.  You put a little polenta, marinara and a mushroom on your fork and you will be saying YUM!  Make sure to keep cooking the mushrooms until the liquid is evaporated and then add chives.
This whole meal will be part of my rotation of meals I make my family from now on.  Everyone was smiling and very full at the end of dinner.  Not to mention did I say leftovers?  We get to have it again tomorrow night.  I told you, "Trifecta!"


  1. How do you decide which recipes to make?

  2. Really it is just what I am in the mood to try. Several I just couldn't wait to make. They sounded so yummy. A few I am not looking forward to because I don't think my kids will like them.