Baked Polenta Fries with Marinara Sauce

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  • Vegetarian
    Vegetarian
  • Vegan
    Vegan
  • Dairy Free
    Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
    Gluten Free
  • Egg Free
    Egg Free
  • Nut Free
    Nut Free
  • Soy Free
    Soy Free
  • Blender
    Blender

My family and I are addicted to these baked polenta fingers and marinara sauce. We've been making them a lot lately and eating them with a glass of wine on our new deck. Oh...summer nights....you've gotta love them.

As we prepare for our annual 4th of July party (where we watch the Universal Studios fireworks from our balcony) I'm putting this winning dish on this year's menu!

I really love polenta, but it can taste really bland. Typically, truckloads of cheese is stirred through the cornmeal to give it more flavor. Instead of using vegan cheeze (because let's be honest, it's just not the same as traditional parmesan) I use Massel broth, olive oil, nutritional yeast, herbs, and spices to achieve a fantastic flavor.

For those of you watching your sodium intake, use the Massel seasoning powder in place of salt. The powder does contain some natural salt, but a teaspoon of the seasoning powder contains a lot less salt than adding plain salt, and it delivers a lot more flavor.

I use Massel broth to infuse flavor to all of my grains. It is always in my pantry, and I am so excited that it's now available in stores in the U.S. Use the store locator to find out where you can get the broth in your local area. Or, order it from amazon. Aussies, you're well acquainted with this amazing product.

Depending on how thirsty your cornmeal is and the temperature of your stovetop you may need to add more broth than I have called for in order to cook the cornmeal completely. You can also add seasoning and spices to your preference before you transfer the cooked polenta into the baking dish to chill in the fridge.

These polenta fingers are so delicious I sometimes munch on them without making any sauce. They're really tasty on their own. But, marinara sauce is always a winner. The sauce is so quick and easy, and it freezes really well to use on pasta or other grains. Bon Appetit!

For those of you in the U.S, what are you making for your 4th of July celebration?

*I'm an ambassador for Massel, but my opinions are my own.

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Baked Polenta Fries with Marinara Sauce

Baked Polenta Fries with Marinara Sauce

Serves 4 to 660 MINS

baked polenta:

  • 6 cups (1.45l) Massel vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (120g) yellow cornmeal (medium grind)
  • 1 teaspoon Massel vegetable seasoning powder or Celtic sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup (185g) defrosted frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

marinara sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) Massel vegetable or chicken-flavored broth
  • 1 (28oz/800g) tin crushed tomatoes and their juices
  • 1/3 cup (9g) chiffonaded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Massel vegetable seasoning powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (optional), plus more to taste
  1. To make the polenta, pour in 5 cups of the broth and stir in the seasoning powder. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and whisk in the cornmeal in a slow steady stream, and continue whisking for about 2 minutes to avoid clumping. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon for about 15 minutes adding the remaining cup of broth gradually as needed until the mixture is thick and the cornmeal is cooked through and creamy. Stir in the olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and onion powder, and stir until well combined. Stir in the corn kernels and chives.
  2. Line a square baking dish with cling wrap, allowing the wrap to hang over the edges generously, which will allow you to pull the polenta bake out easily once set. Pour the cooked polenta into the tin and smooth over the top. Chill in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours, until set.
  3. Once set, pull the polenta out using the cling wrap, and flip it onto a cutting board. Cut it into equal pieces.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), and line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
  5. Place the polenta fingers on the prepared sheet, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until starting to brown. Gently flip the slices over, and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
  6. To make the marinara sauce, warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the broth, tomatoes, basil, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, Massel vegetable seasoning powder or salt, and red pepper flakes. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture has reduced and thickened. Allow to cool slightly, and thicken further. Stir in the maple syrup, and season to taste.
  7. Serve polenta fingers topped with marinara sauce.

Find more recipes using Massel broth
Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak

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