1. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or oil. In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more, making sure it does not brown. Add the salt and stock or broth and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat.
2. In a thin stream (a measuring cup with a lip works well for pouring), very slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly to be sure it doesn’t stick, until it is very thick, smooth, and creamy. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.
3. Pour the polenta into the prepared baking dish, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula if necessary. Let the polenta rest for at least 2 hours to set.
4. Squeeze out all of the water from the spinach. In a small bowl, mix the spinach with the ricotta cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Invert the polenta onto a cutting surface. Set the dish aside to use again. Cut the polenta rectangle in half crosswise to make 2 rectangles each measuring 9 by 6 1/2 inches. (This will make it easier to transfer the polenta back into the baking dish later on.) Cut a 2-foot long piece of dental floss and hold it taut between your hands. Working with 1 piece of polenta at a time, place the floss against the end farthest from you and pull the floss toward you, through the center of the polenta piece, slicing it in half to give you a top and a bottom layer. (Alternatively, use a serrated knife to slice through the polenta.) Repeat with the second rectangle.
6. Spoon 1 cup of the Red Pepper-Tomato Sauce evenly on the bottom of the same baking dish. Put 2 of the polenta pieces in the dish to cover the bottom. Spoon half of the spinach-ricotta mixture over the polenta, using the back of a spoon to spread it out, then sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Spoon 2 cups of the sauce over the cheese.
7. Top with the remaining polenta pieces, covering the sauce completely. Spoon the remaining spinach-ricotta mixture evenly over the polenta. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella over the top. Dot with the remaining 1 cup sauce, leaving small gaps between the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. (The lasagna will be high, slightly above the rim of the dish.)
8. Put the lasagna dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. To serve, cut into serving portions and use a spoon or spatula to scoop them out onto individual dishes.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare through Step 7, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking and proceed with Step 8. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
TO REHEAT: Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.
From From Our House To Yours. Compilation copyright © 2002 by Chronicle Books LLC. Foreword copyright © 2002 by Joyce Goldstein. Photographs copyright © 2002 by E.J. Armstrong. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
This Polenta Lasagna With Tomatoes And Peppers recipe is from the From Our House to Yours Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.
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