Cheesy Ham, Spinach and Polenta Torte

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Recipe by SarasotaCook

So easy and so elegant. One night a friend asked if I wanted to go out for dinner and I said, "of course, but instead, why don't I cook." Work got hectic, and next thing I know - I had no time left to cook. I did I quick search through an old Southern Living magazine and found this dish. It had most of things I already had so this was the result. Now I make it in a spring form pan, but you can also just use a casserole or souffle dish. I serve this for dinner parties all the time. A few appetizers, a fresh salad with artichokes, tomatoes, olives and mushrooms, and of course your favorite dessert. Changing up your cheese is also a great way for a new taste. Fontina or Swiss for the Mozzarella, or you can use Romano or Pecorino for a little sharper taste. This also makes a great late breakfast, brunch, lunch, light dinner or even just a side dish.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Filling -- In a large sauce pan on medium high heat, add the olive oil, onion, garlic and saute a couple of minutes until tender. Add in the spinach, ham, pepper, salt (but go easy, ham is salty) and cook about 3-4 minutes until everything is well combined.
  2. Polenta -- In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the remaining cup to the corn meal and mix well. Then slowly add the corn meal mix into the boiling water and simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes stiring all the time until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat.
  3. Casserole -- Heat your oven to 400 and make sure you butter, not oil your casserole dish well. Now if you are using a spring form pan, line with aluminum foil and then butter the foil.
  4. Spread 1/3 of the polenta in the dish or pan and then cover with 1/2 of the spinach mixture. Top that with 1/2 of the parmesan and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Next layer -- 1/3 more polenta, then the remaining spinach, then the remaining parmesan and 1/3 more of the mozzarella. Finish off with the last 1/3 of the polenta and the rest of the mozzarella.
  5. Bake -- 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure you let it rest for 10 minutes.
  6. If using a spring form, just remove the sides, but a casserole dish works just as well. This can be a side dish or easily a main dish.

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