Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 22: Sweet and Savory Polenta "Lasagna"

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 portobello mushroom, stem removed
1 small yellow onion, to be chopped
4 large garlic cloves, to be chopped
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
   Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 24-ounce tube prepared polenta, plain or flavored, cut into 21 disks about 1/4 inch thick
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the 2 tablespoons of EVOO and the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the sausage, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon. While the sausage is starting to brown, cut the portobello mushroom in half and then thinly slice and add to the sausage. Chop and add to the pan as you go the onions, garlic, and rosemary. Season the sausage and mushrooms with the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Once everything is in the pan, the sausage is lightly browned, and the mushrooms and onions have wilted, add the chicken stock, lemon juice, raisins, and pine nuts. Continue to cook over high heat until the liquids have evaporated about 2 to 3 minutes.

While the sausage and mushrooms are cooking down in the liquid, in a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with the egg, lemon zest, Parmigiano, and bread crumbs.

Brush an 8-inch springform pan or an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with a little EVOO and place 7 disks of the polenta on the bottom of the dish. If they overlap a little that's fine; it will vary depending on what kind of dish you are using. Divide the sausage and mushroom mixture into 3 even portions. Do the same with the ricotta mixture.

Using the back of a spoon, spread one third of the ricotta mixture on top of the polenta. Don't make yourself crazy doing this - just mush it out over the polenta. Top the ricotta with one third of the sausage and mushrooms. Repeat the layers two more times, starting with the polenta and finishing with a sausage and mushroom layer. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, transfer to the oven, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. To make sure it is cooked through, insert a knife into the center of the dish, wait a few seconds, and then remove it. Touch the knife with your fingertips and if it is hot, the lasagna is done. Remove from the springform (or cut loose from the baking dish) and serve.


This is the second meal I'm skipping because of my maternity leave. RR says: "What a difference a little fruit and nuts can make." I made this last year; it was good, but not that different from the first one. My mom came to visit and help out with the kids this week. She'll be cooking for me :)

No comments:

Post a Comment