Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

Inspired by New Vegetarian Cuisine by Linda Rosensweig. Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1994.

The Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups diced eggplant
1 cup diced onion
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup finely diced mushrooms
1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet with high sides over medium heat. Saute the eggplant and mushrooms until lightly browned, about 5-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, onion and pepper and cook another 5 minutes until softened. Add tomatoes, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 40 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the polenta.

When the sauce is done, finish by stirring in the butter. Sprinkle with parsley and basil.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 cups water
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

There are many fancy directions for polenta but I never have a problem with my very unorthodox method.

In a heavy (LeCrueset) pot add the cornmeal, water, butter and salt. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil, whisking often. Turn the heat down to low, cook stirring often with a wooden spoon until smooth and thickened, about 20-30 minutes. Stir in the cheese.

To serve:
Pour polenta on a platter and top with some of the sauce. Serve remaining sauce on the side.


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