Thursday, July 3, 2014

Quick and Simple Supper: Italian Style

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I love polenta and so does my husband, but I so often forget it as an option for cooking at home!  The other night I was cleaning out the pantry and happened upon half a box of polenta I hadn't used, so I decided to throw it together with a few other pantry and fridge ingredients for supper.

I love meals like that, you know, the ones that just come together in less than 15 minutes and are incredibly tasty and satisfying?  They don't happen often enough, I know!

You can obviously customize this recipe with whatever veggies you have lurking in your fridge, squash would be perfect (its in season now) to throw in with the mushrooms or to just feature on its own.  To "beef" up the recipe you could use portobellos or even add in some meat.  I kept it meatless because my fridge just happened to be that way by the end of the week and with the shrooms it made it hearty and filling even without the meat.

What are some of your more successful pantry/fridge raids?  Bring on the impromptu supper ideas!

Mushroom Spinach Polenta Bowls

1/2 package of polenta (I use Colavita brand)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. Italian Seasoning (I use Penzeys Italian Herb Mix)
8 oz. mushrooms (I used shitake but portobello or button ones would work here too)
1-2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce (when I don't have time to make it myself, I use Newman's Own)
2 cups raw baby spinach (rinsed well and dried)
2 oz crumbled feta (or use Parmesan shards if you have some on hand)
Kosher salt & black pepper

Prepare polenta according to package instructions, it cooks very quickly and can get lumpy fast so make sure to add enough liquid and keep stirring until it is nice and smooth.  If it seems to be too thick, just add in some more warm water or broth and whisk until you get the texture you like.

Splash a tbsp. or so of olive oil into a large saute pan and heat on medium-high heat.  Add in the garlic and cook, just for 30 seconds or so, before adding in the mushrooms, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper and the Italian seasoning.  Brown the mushrooms well, then add in the spinach.

Quickly saute the veggies together until the spinach just starts to wilt, then remove from heat.  Heat up the marinara sauce and assemble the polenta bowls: polenta on the bottom, top with sauce, then add as much of the mushroom/spinach mixture as you like, then finish with a sprinkle of feta.

Printable Recipe

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