Baked Polenta Parmesan

Serves 4 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided  

1 small yellow onion, chopped 

2 cloves garlic, minced, divided 

26 ounces chopped tomatoes in their juices (I like Pomi

1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish 

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil 

1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms (optional) 

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

1 bunch kale, center stems removed and roughly chopped (or grilled or roasted sliced eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, etc.)

1 (18-ounce) package precooked polenta (such as San Gennaro brand, available at most grocery stores) 

16 ounces cooked meatballs (I used "meatless" soy meatballs, but be sure they are gluten-free if you're on a GF diet). 

1/3 cup shredded Italian cheeses such as Mozzarella or Parmesan (I used a vegan cheese) 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the tomatoes, spices, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat  until thickened, about 20 minutes longer. 

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon oil and garlic in a large frying pan over medium low heat. Add the chopped kale and a pinch of salt and saute until wilted and softened, about 5 minutes. 

Cut the polenta into 10 rounds. Arrange 9 slices on the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, cutting the remaining round to fill in gaps. Top with meatballs, kale (or other cooked vegetables), and tomato sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake until cheese  has melted, about 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley.