On a recent trip to Italy I found the most amazing polenta. It is fine and creamy, cooks and pours like silk, but then sets up on the plate for a real toothsome forkful. As the stores were closed, I snuck around the gardens in the village, but could not find a basil plant anywhere, so I used the heartier Italian Parsley in my Ratatouille. The result was fresh and herby. A most memorable meal made with the freshest produce, lots of love and shared with seven girlfriends and a few bottles of earthy Ruby Red Primativo. I love Italy.
Roasting the veggies keep the flavors independent and the veg firm. You can add parmesan to the polenta but I like to keep if Vegan and let people sprinkle on their own fresh grated parmesan.
Oven Roasted Ratatouille w/Creamy Polenta
Roasting the Veg keeps them firm and flavorful. Chop all the veg into bite size chunks.
- 3 Zucchini, chopped
- 2 large Eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 1 large Onion, peeled and chopped
- 8-10 Garlic Cloves, separated, but skin on
- 1 large Red Pepper, chopped
- 10-15 small Tomatoes, cherry or other small variety
- 1 bunch Italian Parsley, chopped
- 8-10 Basil Leaves, sliced into ribbons
- 1-2cups Tomato Sauce or Passata in Brit Speak
- 4 cups Veggie Broth
- 1-11/2 cup Fine Polenta (you can find this in Italian stores)
- Preheat Oven to 200c or 400f
- Glaze a baking sheet with olive oil
- Spread all the veg on it, keeping the garlic together in a corner of the pan
- Pop in the oven and roast about 20 minutes.
- Start your polenta by boiling the broth then slowly pour in the polenta, whisking constantly until smooth.
- Turn the heat down and simmer, stirring often. Cook about 15-20 minutes stirring often
- Add enough broth or polenta to keep a nice silky consistency, not too soupy or thick
- Pull the garlic off the pan and return to the oven for 10-15 more minutes
- When veggies are golden brown and tomatoes are a bit charred remove the pan from oven
- In a large skilled, heat a generous swirl of olive oil and pop the garlic from its skin, add to pan
- Carefully slide the roasted veg into the pan and saute a few minutes
- Add just enough Tomato Sauce to make a nice Ratatouille. Not too soupy.
- Add the Herbs and stir a few times.
- Ladle the Polenta into shallow bowls and top with scoops of Ratatouille.
- Top with Parmesan and Fresh Basil if you wish