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Polenta for dinner or breakfast, savory or sweet.

Polenta for dinner or breakfast, savory or sweet

Soft or firm, savory or sweet, coarsely ground cornmeal--known as polenta--is a versatile, healthy, and tasty dish. When cooked with lots of water, polenta swells up to a creamy consistency. Spoon a simple tomato and Italian sausage sauce over the hot mush for a satisfying family supper. Cooked with less liquid (here we use orange juice) and sweetened, the firmer polenta goes into molds. Serve with fruit for breakfast or dessert. Look for polenta in many supermarkets or Italian delicatessens. Or substitute finerground yellow cornmeal for the polenta.

Soft Polenta with Sausage Sauce
1 pound mild or hot Italian sausages
 (or use a combination of both)
1 can (28 oz.) pear-shaped tomatoes

1 1/2 cups polenta or yellow cornmeal


Grated parmesan cheese (optional) Squeeze sausages from casings into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan. Stir over high heat until browned and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard all fat. Pour tomatoes, including liquid, into pan. With a spoon, break tomatoes into small pieces. Boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick and most of the liquid evaporates, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a 4- to 5-quart pan, bring 7 cups water to a boil. Gradually add polenta, stirring until blended. Reduce heat to low and stir often with a long-handled spoon until polenta is smooth and soft to bite (be careful: mixture is very hot and spatters) and thick enough to flow only slightly when mounded, 8 to 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. At once pour polenta into a bowl and top with sausage sauce. Add parmesan cheese to taste. Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 331 cal.; 15 g protein; 15 g fat; 34 g carbo.; 726 mg sodium; 43 mg chol.

Orange Polenta Cake

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons sweetened, shredded
 dry coconut (optional)

About 2 cups peeled sliced fruit
 (such as kiwi fruit, oranges,
1 cup unflavored yogurt, sweetened
 to taste with honey (optional)

In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pan, bring orange peel, juice, and salt to a boil. Gradually add polenta, stirring until blended. Boil gently, uncovered, stirring with a long-handled spoon over medium heat, until thick, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (be careful: hot mixture splatters). Reduce heat to low; stir until polenta stops flowing after spoon is drawn across pan bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in honey and butter. Spoon equal portions of the hot mixture into 4 or 5 buttered custard cups or decorative molds (1/2- to 3/4-cup size). Press polenta solidly into cups. Let cool at least 5 minutes, or up to 30 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each mold and invert onto plates. If made ahead, cover and hold at room temperature up to 2 hours. Stir coconut in a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. If made ahead, cool and wrap coconut airtight up until the next day. Serve polenta cakes hot, warm, or at room temperature. Sprinkle cakes with toasted coconut. Offer fruit and yogurt to add to each portion. Makes 4 or 5 servings. Per serving: 353 cal.; 4.5 g protein; 5.6 g fat; 75 g carbo.; 52 mg sodium; 12 mg chol.

PHOTO : Firm orange polenta cake, served with fruit and yogurt, is a nutritious breakfast

PHOTO : Soft and creamy, simmered polenta is delicious topped with flavorful sauce of tomatoes and

PHOTO : Italian sausage
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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