This dish is a bit more time consuming than the others I have posted, it is a two step process since we are working with Polenta and a sauce. The sauce would actually be great in a slow cooker, but if you are cooking it like I present it here, give yourself at least 2 hours of simmering, plus 40 minutes to cook the polenta. The polenta should be made before the sauce, because it needs time to cool and stiffen in order to be used on the grill. Please DO NOT use quick polenta. It tastes terrible. I made the polenta in the morning and started the eggplant in the late afternoon for dinner.
1 cup dry polenta
8 cups of water
1 large eggplant, diced, which should give you 4 cups
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in one cup if water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Calabrian dried red peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
splash of wine
salt to taste for the polenta. I used about 1 tbsp
For the Polenta
Bring for cups of water to a boil in a pot or deep pan. I used my deep pan because it is non stick, which is useful with sticky polenta.
When water comes to a boil, add salt, and slowly stir in polenta, and cook on low heat for about 30-40 minutes, stirring regularly. Add another cup of water halfway through Stir at least every 3 minutes.
For the Eggplant, you will need to prepare 1 tbsp of thoroughly rinsed dry porcini mushroom in one cup of water. Let the porcini soak for no less than 30 minutes
In a deep pan, put olive oil, splash of wine, garlic and peppers and simmer for a good five minutes on medium heat.
Add can of diced tomatoes, and 2 cups of water. Simmer on medium heat for 3 minutes. The you will strain the porcini mushrooms and pour the water they were soaking in into the tomato sauce. The mushrooms will give the sauce a meatier taste, and make it much easier to pair with a bold red wine. Save the porcini in the fridge for other uses. I used mine in a Minestrone I am going to blog about next.
Too prepare meal:
Grill two pieces of polenta at a time, until brown lines appear on either side. Notice the texture of the Polenta is not like a porridge, but it seems almost like Jell-o. There is no gelatin in Polenta, however.