Creamy Polenta with Tomato Braised Veggies

On my last blog post my cousin Judy commented. She questioned if I ever put Polenta in my cabbage soup. Well since she mentioned it, polenta was on my mind. I just had to make some. I was craving for some creamy polenta and I love paring it with some tomato braised veggies.  It was perfect for my craving, and perfect for the damp weather we have been experiencing. Made me feel all warm and cozy making it…and eating it! Thank you Judy!

Creamy Polenta with Tomato Braised Veggies (serves 4)

1 cup of Polenta

3 cups of water

1 tsp of sea salt

¼ cup of cream

Black Pepper to taste

 

2 tbsp of Olive Oil

1 – 2 zucchini, chopped

2 – 3 carrots, sliced

2 – 3 stalks of celery, sliced

1 leek, chopped

1 bulb of fennel, (white part only) sliced

1 small head of broccoli, trimmed and chopped into small florets

3 cloves of garlic

1 28oz can of whole tomatoes, pureed

2 cups of Cabernet

Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper

Pinch of dried oregano

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

First, in a large deep pan with a lid over medium heat place you olive oil. Also, turn your oven on to 375 degrees. To your pan add in your zucchini, carrots, celery, leek, fennel, & garlic – be sure to stir well.  Let it all simmer a bit and then add in you pureed tomatoes and wine. Sprinkle the crushed red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper and stir well. Place a lid on your pan and place it in the middle of your oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Next, once you veggies have been in your oven about 20 – 30 minutes you should start your polenta. Place your water in a 2- 3 quart pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Sprinkle your sea salt over the water and wish in your polenta. Continue to whisk your polenta until it begins to thicken. (You have to keep whisking your polenta because you do not want it to get lumpy, and if left alone it will begin to spit and splatter like molten lava.)

Meanwhile; when your polenta is thickening ad in your cream and stir well over low heat until it is creamy, thick, and smooth in appearance. Be sure to taste it and see if it needs more salt. Remove from heat and season with black pepper. At this time your veggies should be done, and remove them from the oven. The veggies will be tender and the tomatoes & wine mixture will have thickened.

Finally, when ready to eat place some polenta in a bowl and pour some of your braised veggies over it with some of its lovely juices and sauce. I personally like to top this off with some shavings of Ricotta Salta, but parmesan works just as well. Eat while still warm and enjoy.