Today, I want to share with you my all-time favorite recipe for polenta tube casserole. This dish has been a staple in my family for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those comfort foods that just hits the spot every time. And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to make!
So, picture this: it’s a chilly winter evening, and you’re craving something warm and hearty for dinner. You’re not quite in the mood for pasta or rice, but you want something that will fill you up and make you feel cozy inside. That’s when you remember the polenta tube casserole that your grandma used to make. It’s the perfect comfort food for a night like this.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Polenta? That sounds fancy and complicated.” But trust me, it’s not. In fact, this recipe is so simple that even the most novice cook can make it. All you need are a few basic ingredients, a little bit of time, and a lot of love.
So, let’s get started, shall we? Grab your apron, and let’s make some magic happen in the kitchen!
Polenta Tube Casserole Recipe
- Springform pan
- Large pot
- Can opener
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board and knife
- Mixing bowl
- Oven mitts
- Serving utensils
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium Onions (chopped)
- 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
- 1/4 cup carrots (chopped)
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup polenta
- 2 cups grated Fontina cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté the onion, celery, and carrot in olive oil over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Crush the whole tomatoes in a bowl with your hands or a fork and add them to the pot along with the parsley, oregano, and basil. Stir to combine.
- Add 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Gradually whisk in the polenta, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low and cook the polenta, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until thickened and cooked through.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 cup of grated Fontina cheese until melted.
- Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with butter or cooking spray.
- Pour half of the polenta mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of grated Fontina cheese over the polenta layer.
- Pour the remaining polenta mixture on top of the cheese and smooth the top
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of grated Fontina cheese over the top of the casserole.
- Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.
- Allow the casserole to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- The recipe calls for a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes. If you can’t find canned tomatoes with basil, you can use regular canned tomatoes and add some fresh basil to the sauce.
- The polenta should be gradually whisked into the boiling water to prevent lumps from forming.
- The Fontina cheese can be substituted with another type of cheese, such as mozzarella or Parmesan, if desired.
- The casserole should be allowed to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving to allow it to set.
- Good source of fiber: Polenta is made from cornmeal, which is rich in fiber. Fiber helps to promote digestion, prevent constipation, and keep you feeling full for longer.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: Tomatoes, onions, celery, and carrots are all excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, potassium, and folate.
- Low in fat: This recipe uses olive oil, which is a healthy source of unsaturated fats. The cheese adds some fat, but overall, this dish is relatively low in fat compared to other casserole dishes.
- Good source of protein: Fontina cheese is a good source of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body.
- Gluten-free: Polenta is naturally gluten-free, making this dish a great option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different type of cheese?
Yes, you can substitute Fontina cheese with another type of cheese such as mozzarella or Parmesan.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it in the oven before serving.
How long will leftovers keep?
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
Can I freeze Polenta Tube casserole?
Yes, Polenta Tube casserole can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Let it cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake in the oven until heated through.
This Polenta Tube Casserole recipe is a delightful and impressive dish that will leave you satisfied and wanting more. The layers of sauce and cheese inside the beautifully sliced polenta make for a visually stunning presentation.
Every bite is a perfect combination of creamy and savory flavors that will surely tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re looking for a cozy night in or a meal to impress your guests, this Polenta Tube Casserole is a definite winner. Try it out for yourself and enjoy a delicious and satisfying dining experience.