polenta alla romana

you might have heard of gnocchi alla romana..well this is my bastardized version of that. since i can't eat semolina flour bc of the gluten found within, i make my gnocchi alla romana using polenta. it is a light, fluffy easy to make dinner. and great for a dinner party bc so much- if not all of it can be done in advance. first you need 2 cups of this:

next bring 6 cups of water to a boil to which you have added 1/2 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg, 4 tbsp. of butter and 1 tsp. of salt.

slowly add the 2 cups of polenta to the boiling water and stir constantly (or at least until it starts to thicken) once it comes together turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring to prevent clumping..

also is it gross or weird that i was dipping salt and pepper potato chips into a mixture of peanut butter and chocolate that i made earlier in the morning to spread on toast while i was stirring the polenta? well let me tell you it may have been weird but it certainly was NOT gross. they were just sitting there next to each other and the hungry bitch inside me known as PMS thought it would make an AWESOME snack. she is seldom wrong....EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this soothes her...

ok, so once the polenta is thick and creamy (15 minutes) take the pot off the heat and add 2 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano...

whisk quickly so your eggs don't scramble..

then pour the hot polenta into a baking sheet that you have lined with foil and oiled lightly, spread until smooth...

cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours...

while that's happening make the sauce. my tomato sauce is the yummiest ever..and super easy. these are the only ingredients you need..
and that is: 1 28 oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes plus 1 14 oz can of the same or similar, sea salt, 3-4 cloves garlic, 1-2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes.

pour 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan, add to it the chopped garlic, oregano and pepper flakes. saute just until the aroma makes your nose happy. then add the tomatoes. don't break up the tomatoes as i feel they get bitter if you do this too early..waiting makes them sweeter.

bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a low simmer for about an hour..

once done add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. pour sauce into a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth consistency, taste again for seasoning...

pour back into saucepan and keep warm on the stove..

once the polenta is cooled and firm start cutting out circles with whatever small round cutter (or soy sauce ramekin in my case) you have..

arrange them in a slightly overlapping fashion in a buttered baking dish..

once you have them all layered in the pan sprinkle more cheese and dots of butter. bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes..

once they start to go golden brown (you might need to put them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking) take them out and serve immediately..

with a simple green salad..

and plenty of sauce and extra chizzneese...

i had 2 helpings. that good.