Homemade Polenta Squares With Chunky Tomato Sauce

"Nice as an appetizer or as a meatless main dish. Use whole milk if desired, for richer flavor."
photo by Sweet Baboo photo by Sweet Baboo
photo by Sweet Baboo
Ready In:
1hr 25mins




  • Bring milk, salt and cayenne to boil in larfe saucepan over med. high heat.
  • While whisking milk, add cornmeal in a very thin but steady stream. DO NOT LET LUMPS FORM.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Cook uncovered 50-60 minute until polenta is very thick, stirring frequently. It will be ready when you can stand a wooden spoon upright in middle of mixture.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter over med. heat.
  • Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  • When polenta is done, add bell pepper mixture and Parmesan to saucepan. Stir to combine.
  • Spray 13x9 pan with cooking spray. Spread polenta evenly into pan. Cover and let stand at room temp for 6hrs or until completely cooled and firm.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut polenta into 24 squares.
  • Pour spaghetti sauce evenly over polenta.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly around edges.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with provolone.
  • Bake 2-3 minutes longer to melt cheese.
  • Let stand 5 minutes and loosen edges with spatula.
  • Carefully lift out squares and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. wonderful!!! I did bake it in the oven like Sweet Baboo suggested, and it was waaaay faster. Will make it again.
  2. This recipe intrigued me because I have always made polenta with water or broth, never just milk as the liquid, and I thought that increasing the protein, as well as the creaminess with milk could be a good thing....it was!! The polenta was just delicious. The addition of the sauteed vegetables, parmesan, and the zip from the cayenne was a perfect balance with the corn flavour, and I will use this as my new standard polenta recipe. Now, I have a confession to make... rather than stirring the polenta on the stove top, I used my usual method and cooked it in the oven at 375F, covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes...worked perfectly. Second confession...I was making it ahead so I could follow the recipe and allow it to cool and firm, but after tasting how great the hot, soft polenta was, I served us both up a plateful, and the remainder is now in the fridge awaiting an encore for dinner tomorrow. Thanks for submitting this keeper of a recipe.
  3. I am new with polenta, only ate and prepared it once before but this recipe was both easy and tasty. Took a while to prepare, made the polenta yeaterday and let it chill until dinner tonight. I was able to scale this down a bit without any negative effect I think. But I did leave out the bell pepper since my mother is not a fan of them and used skim milk. Over all a very good recipe I plan on making again!


I am a single mom of a 15 yr old and work as a CT technologist at hospital and at a cancer facility. I don't see cooking as a chore, I really do enjoy it. I am pretty much teaching myself as I go and have a lot to learn. I need to learn how to choose the right cut of meat. I always hear about how you should make good friends with your butcher. However, I'm afraid of annoying anyone with access to very sharp knives so I always take whatever is wrapped up and ready for sale. Lately, I have been trying to educate myself to be more eco-friendly in the kitchen. The more I learn, the more sense it makes not just for the planet but for my wallet! The hardest part so far has been trying to buy local and what is in season. I was looking at the fish at the seafood counter and everything except for cod had been imported from other countries. Thialand, Vietnam, ect. And all those lovely exotic ingredients in the produce section are very tempting! Another thing that's been frustrating is trying to reduce the amount of packaging my stuff comes in. Why do companies over-package everything?? The composting and recycling are working out great though, and I really encourage people to give it a try. I think a lot of people are reluctant to make greener choices because it seems like a tremendous amount of work and the effort seems overwhelming. But you can just start small. Pick one thing and go for it. Even if you don't make any other changes, you are still doing something! But chances are you will think of one more thing you could be doing. And then one more...it really get addictive because you see how easy it is and you feel good about yourself! For me, it started with just buying one or two reusable shopping bag each week at the grocery store. Within a month or so, I had enough to never need the plastic kind again. I was completely surprised to find that this little change was not only better for the planet, but easier for me! Those bags are so much easier to carry and they hold more stuff so you don't have to make as many trips from the car to the kitchen. Plus, I always have them in my car and use them for all kinds of stuff...carrying my gym clothes, library books, games for roadtrips, ect. Have I sold you on them yet??? My absolute fantasy is to have a farm. I know it will never happen: I have absolutely no connection to farm life and no experience or knowlege to make one succeed. Not to mention, I have no natural talents for any of the skills required to run one. But the idea of living off the land, living simply and being self-sufficient is utterly appealing. I'd love to be able to grow my own food, learn to can and make locally-remarked-upon preserves. Bake bread and pies. Learn to quilt and knit and sew. Feed chickens and gather eggs. Milk cows. Rise and retire with the sun. Sit on my porch at the end of the day and...okay, you get the point. And I realize the reality isn't as romantic as I imagine, but I think it would still be a wonderful way to live. My dream man is a cross between John Walton and Charles Ingalls (too much seventies TV at a young age?) with a bit of Sam Elliot thrown in. Maybe more than a bit! If I ever win the lottery, I think I would quit my job and find work as a farm hand. Of course, that would require me to actually play the lottery. I live with my somewhat idiosyncratic daughter and my reclusive boyfriend. Daughter is very picky, boyfriend will eat anything, but isn't exactly overly effusive either. I, of course, am the normal one. We have some interesting uh..."discussions". My rating system: To be honest, I never give 2 stars or less because of the chance it was a mistake I made with the recipe. Besides which, I am a coward. In those cases, I just leave a comment with no rating. I also try to save 5 stars for recipes that are truly extraordinary. [img]http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/1984/jefesdelabk5.jpg[/img] <img src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/projects/200_PACpic.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"> <img src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/projects/pacbanner.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"> <img src="http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b158/bella_donata/My%20Art/ApronSwap2007.jpg" border="0" alt="Made by Bella14ragazza"> <img src="http://zwt3.dabukar.com/Banner_No._1.jpg"> <a href="http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y254/Missymop/?action=view¤t=jollyjumbucks.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y254/Missymop/jollyjumbucks.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> <img src="http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/vseward/Bevy/officialmemberofthebevtaggame.jpg"> <img src="http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/vseward/GIFS/zaargroupie.gif">
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