Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Milanese Casserole

This casserole does take some time to prepare to wash and chop so many fresh veggies, but it's worth it. It's a very hearty and delicious vegetarian casserole! I recommend switching up the vegetables depending on what you have on hand and what your family prefers.

When I told Mike I was making this vegetarian casserole for dinner, he was skeptical. As we were eating Milanese Casserole at the dinner table, he told me that he was anxious about it all day and wasn't looking forward to dinner. But once he tried it, he said it was pretty incredible for a vegetarian meal! I can't convince him to eat meatless meals too often, so this recipe is a winner!

Milanese Casserole
Polenta Ingredients:
·6 cups water
·2 cups yellow cornmeal
·3 TBS butter
·Salt and pepper
·2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
Casserole Ingredients:
·4 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·4 cloves garlic, minced
·2 onions, chopped
·3 celery ribs, diced
·½ cup mix of oregano, basil, and parsley; loosely packed then chopped
·Salt and pepper
·1 eggplant, diced (soak in salt water for 15 minutes before sautéing, drain)·1 zucchini, diced
·1 green bell pepper, diced
·2 tomatoes, diced
·3 TBS tomato paste
·½ cup red wine
·½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
·3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Polenta: Bring water to a boil and gradually add cornmeal, stirring rapidly. While stirring, add butter and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. When the polenta has thickened, stir in Parmesan cheese. Spread polenta in a greased 13x9 casserole dish.

Casserole: Preheat oven to 350˚. In a large Dutch oven, sauté garlic and onion in EVOO until translucent. Add celery, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add eggplant and sauté for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and bell pepper, cooking until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Spoon casserole filling evenly over Polenta and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until cheese begins to brown.

Yield: 8 servings

This recipe is adapted from Feast Magazine's Feb. 2011 Caserola Milanese recipe.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday