Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Italian Polenta & Eggplant Casserole

This is another meal I treated myself to when Raymond was in San Fran for the weekend getting another coaches certification.  To my surprise when he got back he helped me finish it, stating that he actually enjoyed it.  This really surprised me because Raymond isn't a huge fan of polenta, kale, or mushrooms...basically the main ingredients in this dish!  Please don't let the long recipe deter you from making this dish.  It is really quite easy and once you get going doesn't take too long to make.  This makes great leftovers for work lunches, although you may end up torturing your co-workers with how amazing this smells and tastes.


2 16-ounce package prepared polenta
3/4 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups mushrooms, cut into 1/4" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, rib removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp dried basil
2.5 cups marinara sauce
1 eggplant, chopped into 1/2" - 3/4" pieces
Alfredo Sauce (Recipe below)
Salt and pepper to taste


Chop eggplant and place in colander.  Sprinkle liberally with coarse grained salt and let sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees-Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray.

Make Alfredo sauce, set aside.

Rinse eggplant well, place on the foil-lined baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until done.

Saute the onions and mushrooms in a skillet until the onions are soft and the mushrooms have browned.  Add the garlic and saute for two minutes.

Add the kale, basil, and 1/4 cup water.  Saute until the water has evaporated and the kale is tender and wilted.  Add the Alfredo sauce and stir, cooking until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Mix the eggplant with the marinara sauce.

Cut the polenta into thin slices.

Spread about 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of your large baking dish.

Cover with half of the polenta slices. 

Spread the half cheese sauce on top of the polenta.

Top with half of the remaining marinara sauce.  Repeat layers once more: polenta, Alfredo, marinara.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Alfredo Sauce


1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low fat milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded


In a separate saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth, flour, salt and pepper over low heat until smooth and thick.

In a separate saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant. 

Add milk and broth mixture and continue to cook over medium low heat until thick, stirring frequently. 

Stir in Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.


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