Relatively short cooking time and uses easier-to-find corn meal. Smother with the sweet tomato sauce recipe (follows).


6 servings


4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed only
7 cups water
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1½ cups Quaker Oats-brand yellow corn meal
3 oz Pecorino Romane cheese
¼ cup half-and-half

Lightly grease 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and oil in pot over medium heat until butter is melted. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden, about 4 minutes.­Discard garlic.

Add water, salt and pepper to butter mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Add cornmeal in slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, whisking frequently and scraping sides and bottom of pot, until mixture is thick and cornmeal is tender, about 20 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in Pecorino and half-and-half. Transfer to prepared pan and let cool completely on wire rack. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours.

Sweet tomato sauce

Serve this over the baked or sautéed polenta.

1 can (14.5 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 oz Pecorino Romano cheese
1½ tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder

Process tomatoes and their juice in blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, cut side down and cook without moving until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Pecorino, sugar, salt, garlic powder and remaining 3 tbsp oil. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, discard onion, cover and keep warm.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then grease parchment. Cut chilled polenta into 6 equal pieces (about 4 by 2 2/3 inches each). Place on prepared sheet and bake until heated through and beginning to brown on bottom, about 30 minutes. Serve each portion covered with about 1/2 cup red sauce.