Use either homemade or store-bought nonfat marinara sauce. For best flavors, select robustly flavorful beans such as cannellini or runner beans.
- 4 cups water
- 1 ¼ cups polenta or cornmeal
- ¼ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 cups diced mushrooms
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh basil
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh oregano
- ½ cup cooked beans
- 4 oz. grated nonfat mozzarella or mozzarella-style soy cheese
- 3 cups nonfat marinara sauce
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan-style soy cheese.
1. To make polenta, in large saucepan, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in polenta. Stir with whisk, and cook until polenta is thick, about 10 minutes. Season with rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Pour polenta into two 8×8-inch baking pans until 3/4-inch thick. (You will need two layers of polenta.) Alternatively, pour polenta into 1 large pan and, when cool, cut polenta into two layers to fit size of 8×12-inch lasagna pan. Smooth and level surface with spoon. Let cool, and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
4. To roast eggplant, using a knife tip or fork, punch several holes in eggplant, and roast for 45 minutes, or until flesh is soft and skin is charred. Alternatively, grill or broil eggplant. Cut in half and, with spoon, scrape soft flesh from skin and chop coarsely. Increase temperature to 450°F.
5. To roast pepper, place on baking sheet, and cook, turning, until skin chars and flesh softens. Remove from heat, peel, seed and cut into strips. Set aside.
6. Unmold polenta, taking care not to break. If using two 8×8-inch pans, cut the pieces so they fit in 8×12-inch lasagna pan. Reserve single piece of polenta for top layer.
7. Reduce heat to 350°F.
8. To make vegetable filling, in saucepan, combine mushrooms, onions, garlic and 1/4 cup water, and cook over medium heat, covered, until onions are soft. Uncover, and cook until liquid evaporates.
9. Transfer to large bowl, and stir in eggplant, pepper, basil, oregano, beans and soy mozzarella-style cheese. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce in bottom of lasagna pan. Top with layer of polenta, add layer of filling, spreading it evenly, then another layer of polenta. Add remaining marinara sauce. Top with Parmesan-style cheese. Cover baking dish, or make double layer of parchment paper under aluminum foil to cover dish.
10. Bake for 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated through. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Many of the ingredients in this polenta, including marinara sauce and eggplant, will pair well with Zinfandel. Try Cline Contra Costa County Reserve Zinfandel.