Polenta Pasticciata

Polenta Pasticciata

There's really no recipe with exact quantities per se here. Quantities depend on how much sauce you have, how much polenta you make, how large your pan is, etc. This is the kind of dish that doesn't have to be exact or perfect - remember it's a pasticcio - a "hodgepodge."

I started with about a cup and a half of polenta (I used the kind that cooks in five minutes, not the long-stirring kind) Cook according to package directions and spread on a cookie sheet. (I sometimes add half milk and half water to the polenta, and sometimes add some parmesan cheese too. It gives it more flavor. Make sure you add enough salt if you don't use the parmesan cheese.) 

Let the polenta cool, then cut into triangles or any shape you want.

Arrange a layer of the polenta triangles on the bottom of an oven proof casserole, then spread with a layer of tomato sauce. 

For the tomato sauce, I used a jar of my friend Michelle's homemade sauce (Majella Home Cooking) and added a pound of cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, plus a 14 oz. can of cherry tomatoes imported from Italy. Simmer all the sauce ingredients together for about 30 minutes before spreading on the polenta.

Spread some sauce over the polenta, then repeat two or three times, depending on how much polenta you have, how much sauce you have, and how big the casserole is. Finish with a generous sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Bake covered with foil (or a lid) for about 30-45 minutes, or until everything is piping hot, removing the foil the last 10 minutes.