It’s not everyday that polenta is used in our recipes but it should be because it’s an easy ingredient to work with and is a fairly reasonably priced product. It’s also versatile as you can create many recipes such as polenta fries, polenta cakes, fried polenta rounds and baked polenta chips.
How To Cook Polenta
Cooking polenta is fairly easy and you will likely want to use it time and again once you’ve tried it the first time. The product is simple to use as you just simmer it in a water base liquid or broth. Cook polenta until it becomes a creamy consistency like oatmeal or porridge which essentially it is to the Italians, a porridge. You will find the polenta cooking process may take a bit longer than porridge though.
You can also buy pre-cooked polenta in tubes or quick cooking polenta at almost any grocery store for around $2 a tube which is the convenient alternative to making it yourself. I might even try grilling polenta on the BBQ this summer which would be great topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
When I put together this Carbonara with sausage and cheese polenta bake I wanted to combine the depth of the polenta base with a creamy texture on top with a protein that would capture the essence of this meal. It’s a great dish to serve at a dinner party paired with a salad that has lemon or lime to cleanse the palette.
Normally we are thinking about frugal recipes for 2 that are quick easy recipes. This is a recipe I made last night for the both of us although it could be a frugal recipe for a family as it serves 6-8 people. I had a craving for creamy polenta and we had some sausages that needed using up. I wanted to make a baked polenta recipe so I could serve it as a polenta casserole style.
What Is Polenta
Polenta is a staple of Northern Italy made from ground yellow or white corn and has had the germ removed. and an ingredient that has high nutritional value, cheap to buy and underutilized in the kitchen.
It’s a great ingredient and one that vegans can also use to make polenta vegan pizza . If you have a gluten intolerance you will be happy to hear that polenta is also gluten-free and fat-free. This makes polenta an excellent choice for people who are eliminating gluten and limiting fat from their diets.
Give my recipe a try, use the freshest ingredients and no matter how you look at it this meal is still cheaper to eat in vs going out. Your budget and your tummy will thank you.
As I was searching the web for polenta nutrition facts so I was happy when I came across an article on buzzle. The article has the nutritional facts of polenta as well as how to make polenta from cornmeal recipe. It truly is an easy polenta recipe so don’t pass by this beautiful product packed with lots of nutrients. Below is the nutritional information according to a serving size of 120 grams of polenta.
Nutritional Content: Total Carbohydrate 15 grams, Dietary Fiber 1 gram, Sugars 1 gram, Sodium 310 milligrams, Proteins 2 grams, Vitamin A 6%, Vitamin C 12%, Iron 2%, Total Calories in Polenta 70.
Total Cost: Approx $12.75 (Depend on where you live and grocery prices)
Feeds: 6/8= $2.12 per Serving
Polenta Bake Tools
- 11×7 Baking Dish (deep dish Rectangular)
- 2 Frying Pans
- Sauce Pot
Polenta Bake Ingredients
Carbonara Sauce with Sausages
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta cut into small pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 220 g white mushrooms sliced
- 3 medium onions sliced
- 500 ml cream
- ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1lb sausages
Polenta Bake Preparation
- Cook the sausages in a frying pan until done, set on paper towel to drain the oil,then cut into small chunks**
- Add the bacon in the pan and cook until crispy.
- In the bacon fat sauté the onions and garlic, cook until just browned, stir in the wine.
- Slowly add in the cream stir for 2 minutes
- Add chicken stock until blended, bring to a boil then reduce until sauce thickens
- Add in the bacon bits and sausage chunks
- Break eggs in bowl and blend together with pepper, salt and Parmigiano
- Gently add the egg mixture to the sauce stirring constantly
- Add in the parsley and place the sauce on simmer for about 15-20 mins
Polenta Base Recipe
Cost $ 1.25
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup cake/pastry flour ( or all-purpose)
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon of paprika
- Pinch of salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients and blend, it’s that simple!
- Pour the base into a well-greased 11×7 deep rectangular baking dish.
- Then pour the carbonara sauce all over the top. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes or until browned.
The Polenta Bake Topping Cost $ 1.25
- When the dish is bubbly and you see the cornmeal base has risen and browned add 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella, ½ cup grated cheddar. Put back in the oven for 2 minutes to melt.
- NOTE: Let the dish rest for about 10 minutes or so before serving or it will be too loose to serve.
Serve with a side salad with a tangy dressing like our summer fresh tomato salad. Don’t be shy to use cornmeal in your kitchen to make polenta dishes. I’m sure you will see empty plates once you make this Carbonara with sausages and cheese polenta bake because it deserves a standing ovation for taste and innovation. Enjoy