Friday, June 22, 2012

Easy Polenta with Prosciutto and Tomatoes

For when you're low on energy and motivation and just wish there was something easy to cook that would magically turn out comforting and healthy and gourmet, all at once. (If you do have energy, you can always substitute a chopped tomato and fresh spinach and throw in a little fresh basil. But this lazy version is pretty darn delicious as is.)

Ingredients (per person)
1/2 cup polenta/coarsely-ground cornmeal
1/3 can chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup organic frozen spinach*
2 slices prosciutto, in small pieces or strips
1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil, salt, and black pepper 

Heat 1 1/2 cups water in a small pot until it boils. Add the tomatoes, wait a moment for them to heat through, then sprinkle in the polenta, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down a little and simmer, stirring, for two minutes, then add the frozen spinach and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking and stirring for another two minutes or until spinach is completely defrosted and polenta begins to pull away from the side of the pan. (If the pot starts to dry out before the spinach is done, you can add a splash more water to slow things down.)

Turn off the heat, stir in most of the Parmesan and prosciutto, and serve. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with black pepper and the remaining prosciutto and cheese.

*Good-quality organic frozen spinach (I like Woodstock Farms) is pricier than regular frozen spinach, but worth it for the no-hassle prep and taste—you can usually just throw it into whatever you're cooking, rather than having to pre-cook and drain it to avoid that spinach-water flavor of most major brands.

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