Polenta Lasagna

January 31, 2010

Inspired by this lovely blog post, I knew I had to put together my own version of this warm, comforting dish.  Polenta is a favorite around here, along with sausage.  Putting it all together into one cheesy dish made a great casserole that was easy to do ahead and serve later.

There are three parts here.  The ragout, or meat; the bechamel and the polenta.  There are no rules so vary them as you like.

  • Ground Beef, 1 1/4 pounds
  • Italian Sausage, 1 1/2 pounds
  • Yellow or White Onion, 1 medium
  • Garlic, 6 or 7 cloves
  • Carrots, 3
  • Parsley, 3 or 4 tablespoons fresh snipped or dry equivalent
  • Rosemary, 2 tablespoons fresh snipped or dry equivalent
  • Basil. 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh snipped or dry equivalent
  • Tomato Paste, 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • Beef Stock, 1 1/2 cups
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Flour, 1/2 cup
  • Butter, 1/2 cup
  • Milk, 4 cups
  • Nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Corn Meal, 2 1/2 cups
  • Water, 9 cups
  • Mozzarella, 12 ounces or 3 cups grated

Snip the herbs, mince the garlic, chop the onion and slice the carrot into thin slices.Remove the sausage from the casing.  Heat a little olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add the sausage and beef and brown.Add the garlic, onion and carrots and continue cooking over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown a bit.Add the herbs, tomato paste and black pepper.Stir it all together with the beef stock, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.Meanwhile, bring 9 cups of water to a boil and whisk in the corn meal.  Continue whisking and mashing out any lumps for a few minutes.  Reduce the heat and let it cook until it’s nice and thick, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.While the polenta is cooking, start on the bechamel.  Melt one stick of butter over medium heat and stir in the flour.  Cook for a minute or two.Add the milk and stir until it’s well blended and smooth.Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Let it continue to cook over low heat until it’s thick.Once the polenta is done, stir in the cheese and mix until the cheese melts and it’s all nice and gooey.Spread a layer of polenta in a large baking dish.Add a layer of bechamel.And a layer of the meat mixture.Repeat with another layer.  Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s all bubbly.  Or, if you’re cooking ahead of time, cover it and put it in the fridge.  Bake it later for about 30 minutes.Dish it up and enjoy!  It went very well with a side of sauteed spinach.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Memoria January 31, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Wow, this looks great!! I just made lasagne with besciamella/béchamel yesterday. I love how yummy your Mornay sauce looks. YUM!


2 Sandy February 1, 2010 at 12:25 am

Jeesh, this looks amazing!


3 Carsten February 2, 2010 at 5:14 am

Brilliant! I really feel hungry now and I sure I will try it this weekend.

Thanks for sharing.

Carsten @tasteandshare
food & wine social network


4 Angela See, Angela Blog February 9, 2010 at 6:11 am

OHHHH that looks soooo good!



5 Kelly August 10, 2010 at 9:01 am

Hi! I’m new to your blog; I found it through a link on PioneerWoman. You have lovely photography and a lot of the recipes look both delicious and husband-friendly. I really wanted to make this polenta lasagna, but my husband won’t eat creamy sauces (I know…he’s missing out on a lot). I decided to use your recipe here as a base and changed the sauce so that it used crushed tomatoes instead. I also used turkey Italian sausage and added in baby spinach instead of carrots. YUM. It turned out really well. I’m in love. My husband finds it “edible” (which is about as good as his compliments get). ;)

I have plans to try two of your other recipes later this week. Your rosemary garlic roast beef looks totally delicious and I think it would go well with Pioneer Woman’s crash hot potatoes. I also want to try the Rigatoni with Chicken and Prosciutto. Even though it has cream in it, I’m pretty sure the husband will love this. He’s hot for prosciutto.

ANYWAY now that I’ve written a novel, thank you and I will keep looking forward to your new posts!


6 Karen Bove August 12, 2010 at 8:36 am

I’m so happy to hear that you’ve taken an idea and switched it up to suit your (or in this case, your husband’s) tastes! That’s what cooking is all about… taking a recipe as inspiration, experimenting and having fun creating what you like.

And I’m betting the cream in the Rigatoni won’t be a deal-breaker for him :)


7 Margie December 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I didn’t realize you could use soft, just-cooked polenta! I’ve always use chilled polenta slabs for polenta lasagna. Looks like I don’t need to wait… Looks delish!


8 Karen Bove December 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I don’t have the patience (or the pre-planning ability) to do that! I do make it pretty thick but it’ll heat up again anyway so I saw no reason to wait for it to cool.


9 Olga @ MangoTomato December 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm

love all the action shots! the photo of the lasagna with the sauce oozing out is drool worthy! I’ve made a similar dish with polenta: great alternative to pasta.


10 Marilyn November 3, 2013 at 2:21 am

Looks just like the polenta Zio used to make! Thanks for sharing…!


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