roasted butternut squash on polenta

February 24, 2014 § 79 Comments

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There are many ways to prepare polenta and because of all the dos and don’ts that come with cooking it some folks are far too trepidatious to try.  I am here to tell you if you haven’t made polenta yet, it is time.  It really is simple and you will be rewarded with a bowl of luscious polenta and never be intimated again.  If you are interested in a lighter rustic polenta follow this cooking method.  Otherwise, here is a recipe for an unforgettably creamy polenta.  Be warned…it has lots of butter, milk and Parmesan cheese.  And giving credit where it is due, this polenta recipe comes from the barefoot contessa, believe me, I could never dream up a recipe for such a rich delicious polenta like this.

I n g r e d i e n t s

For the butternut squash

  • 1 butternut squash,  peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper

For the creamy polenta

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup good quality freshly grated Parmesan
  • handful of torn parsley leaves

M e t h o d

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Place butternut squash in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and coat well.  Place on a baking sheet in one layer and bake for 30 minutes or until your squash is soft and the edges are a bit caramelized.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, half-and-half, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the hot milk while stirring constantly with a whisk.  Return the pot to a low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan.

Pour the polenta onto a serving dish and top with butternut squash,  parsley and freshly grated Parmesan.

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