Butternut Squash Polenta with Salsa Rustica

By loubaby
October 24, 2010
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Butternut Squash Polenta with Salsa Rustica

Author Notes: I love Polenta...any form, shape. And I love Butternut Squash...decided to combine these 2 favorites..but needed a sauce of some kind...decided to make it absolutely Italian....so did a sauce, but didn't want a spaghetti sauce....this sauce evolved.loubaby

Serves: 6-8

  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese
  • Salsa Rustica
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Italian black olives, chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  1. Cut Squash into ½ inch pieces; place on a large foiled-lined jelly roll pan and cook for about 30 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion, rosemary and sugar; cook over moderately low heat about 30 minutes until onions are caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook over very low heat, stirring frequently, until cooked, about 30 minutes. Stir in butter.
  4. Add squash, walnuts, onion mixture, mozzarella and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese to the Polenta. Pour polenta mixture into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans. Refrigerate polenta until firm, at least 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, make Salsa. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 Tbl olive oil, tomatoes, red onion and cook until charred all over, about 3-5 minutes, turning frequently. Remove from heat; chop the vegetables. Stir in garlic, olives, anchovies, vinegar, basil and the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. To Serve: Preheat oven to 375. Sprinkle Polenta with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake about 45 minutes, until the top is browned. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting it into pie shaped wedges. Serve with Salsa Rustica.

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