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Italian-Inspired Recipe: Margherita Polenta Casserole

Margherita pizza is a classic Italian dish that comes from Naples and was inspired by Queen Margherita, who liked her pizza adorned with the colors of the Italian flag (tomato, mozzarella and basil; red, white and green). Polenta is another typical, northern-Italian meal and we thought it would be fun and delicious to combine these two classic recipes into one tasty casserole! Polenta is a great dish because of its creamy texture that can so easily be built upon; added butter, salt and cheese really take it to the next level. By going all out with the cheese, and using the sweet tomatoes and basil for extra kick, this dish is a simple, but powerful meal that everyone will love!

Italian-Inspired Recipe: Margherita Polenta Casserole

Polenta Casserole

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups medium/coarse cornmeal (slow-cooking polenta)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for baking dish
  • 1 tablespoon basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and butter your baking dish.
  2. In a medium pot, bring chicken stock and generously salted water to a boil.
  3. Turn heat down to low and slowly whisk in cornmeal. Let simmer and cook, continuously stirring, until tender. About 30 minutes.
  4. Whisk in butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  5. Pour 1/3 of polenta into casserole dish and spread a layer of mozzarella and cheddar on top.
  6. Repeat with another layer of polenta, then cheeses, and continue with remaining ingredients.
  7. Top final layer of polenta with chopped basil, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and polenta is golden.

Recipe adapted from Shared Appetite

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