Sat11222014

Food & Wine

Diane's Polenta


Jason's mom, Diane Sweeney

My Mom is a busy lady. As a middle school teacher and the mother of four kids, she somehow found time to cook up a storm. These days on the rare occasion the entire family manages to assemble in one place, my mom treats us with her amazing meals. She's the best cook I know. Here's a recipe for her polenta:

- Jason Sweeney, Town Crier Intern.

Polenta Sauce

Brown 3 pounds cubed lean stew meat in olive oil with minced fresh garlic. Add one large diced onion before meat is fully browned. When onion is soft, add:

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 small can tomato paste

1 pound can tomatoes (put through sieve)

1 cup red wine

1/2 teaspoon rosemary - to taste

1/2 teaspoon oregano - to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon salt

Dash of pepper

Bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking 2 to 3 hours at a slow simmering boil, adding water when necessary until the meat is very tender. Serve with pasta or polenta.

Polenta - makes 8 slices.

Ingredients

4 cups water or stock

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter (optional)

2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)

Bring water to rapid boil. Add salt. (Oil or butter is optional.) Slowly add cornmeal, stirring continuously with a whisk. Lower heat and continue stirring in a clockwise motion with a wooden spoon for 20-30 minutes until mixture can hold the spoon upright on its own. If using cheese, add it now.

Lightly oil a pie plate or 8x8-inch pan. Pour polenta into pan and smooth the top. Let cool. Slice and serve.

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