(NC) Prepared polenta is a true hidden gem of the supermarket — it’s endlessly versatile and makes a great starting point for easy weeknight meals. Slice it up and sear as we’ve done here to make a crispy-creamy base for a plant-based Bolognese pasta sauce.
On another night, try grilling sliced polenta and serving as a fun alternative to croutons on salad, or alongside grilled shrimp for a twist on shrimp and grits.
To make this recipe, look for tubes of prepared polenta in the pasta and grains section of the supermarket. If you can’t find a 500-gram tube, grab a 1-kilogram tube and cut in half crosswise before slicing into rounds.
Vegan Crispy Polenta with Bolognese and Wilted Greens
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
• 2 cups (500 mL) PC plant-based Bolognese pasta sauce
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
• 1 pkg (500 g) prepared polenta, cut crosswise into ½-inch (1 cm) thick rounds
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper
• Pinch (0.5 mL) salt
• 8 cups (2 L) lightly packed baby arugula and spinach blend (142g pkg)
• Pinch (0.5 mL) hot pepper flakes (optional)
1. Heat pasta sauce in small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until hot; 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange half the polenta slices in single layer in skillet; add carefully to prevent oil from splattering. Cook, turning once and reducing heat if polenta starts to brown too quickly, until golden and crispy; 15 to 17 minutes. Arrange on large serving platter, overlapping slices slightly.
3. Return skillet to medium-high heat (do not wipe out). Add garlic, black pepper, salt and hot pepper flakes (if using). Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant and golden; about 30 seconds. Turn off heat; add arugula and spinach blend. Stir until wilted. Scatter over top of polenta.
4. Spoon pasta sauce over top of polenta and greens. Serve immediately.
Try this: The sauce and greens are also delicious served over creamy polenta, if you can’t find the tubed polenta. Use fine-ground yellow cornmeal and prepare polenta according to the package instructions, using vegan buttery substitute in place of butter. If you have nutritional yeast on hand, feel free to sprinkle that in for cheesy flavour.