Not Yo Momma’s Lasagna – Pesto Polenta Lasagna

The word “lasagna” doesn’t do a thing for me.  But add the words “pesto” and “polenta” aaaaand….  my interest is piqued!

I receive daily emails from allrecipes.com.  Not really a fan of lasagna, I deleted a recent email purely based on the subject line, Pesto Polenta Lasagna. But  the words pesto and polenta kept calling to me.  I needed to check this out!  I went back to my trash folder and opened the email.  This recipe is surely unlike your traditional lasagna. No pasta. No ricotta. The elimination of those two ingredients alone were enough to warrant me moving the email back to my inbox.

Being I prefer to lead not follow, I switched this recipe up a bit.  I added prosciutto, used a whole jar of marinara and a whole container of pesto. I toasted the pine nuts in a little olive oil  beforehand. I sprinkled the “lasagna” with the cheese and pine nuts and baked the whole thing for 25 minutes and broiled for an additional 5 minutes or so until the cheese browned.

Pesto Polenta Lasagna

 Pesto Polenta Lasagna

1 (18 ounce) package polenta, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 (24-ounce) jar bottled marinara sauce
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Oil an 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish.

2. Arrange a single layer of polenta in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the polenta. Spoon half of the sauce over the polenta. Top with another layer of polenta and sauce.

Layering of Pesto Polenta Lasagna

Toasting Pine Nuts - little bit of olive oil, medium high heat until nuts are slightly browned.

3. Bake, uncovered for 24 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Top polenta with cheese and pine nuts and broil until cheese browns and nuts are toasted.

Ready to go in the oven!

There are a few things I wish I had done differently.  It would have been nice to have planned ahead and made my own polenta the day before, giving it time to set up overnight. The store-bought polenta was good, but I think either a thicker cut or wider pieces would have been better suited for this dish.  I layered the prosciutto between the marinara sauce and the polenta, in strips. Next time, I think I’ll crisp the prosciutto before adding or maybe use crisped pancetta as the prosciutto is so thin, it kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  Overall, this dish was *extremely* quick and easy to prepare and was very filling to boot! I had planned on serving it along side pork chops but sometimes what we plan and what actually happens are two completely different things!  Turns out, this tasty dish is fine stand-alone. 😉

 

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