Monday, June 13, 2011

Four Squash Marinara Sauce with Fried Polenta

We are trying to do more meatless meals during the week, and the plan is to actually incorporate some vegan meals into our menu as well. My idea of a perfect weekly menu plan is to include at least 1 vegetarian day, 1 vegan day, and 1 seafood day each week.
I have been wanting to try polenta for a very long time. However, my husband did not think he would like it since he doesn't like "gritty" food- grits, Quinoa, couscous. So I've put off trying it.
There were a few days during the week that he was not supposed to be home for dinner, so I figured I would make the polenta one evening he wasn't here.
I had bought a jarred marinara sauce to go with the polenta, but I decided that plain marinara sauce wouldn't be enough. I had just gotten my CSA delivery for the week, and it was full of squash, so I picked out 4 different ones to add into the sauce.

This was such an easy summer dish- Vegan and Gluten Free too!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive Oil spray
Earth Balance Dairy Free Margarine
1 large onion- sliced thin
garlic- I used about 3 cloves- minced
8 ball squash- diced
1 ball squash- diced
Zucchini- sliced
yellow summer squash- sliced
Trader Joes Tomato Basil Marinara
1 green pepper- chopped
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Basil
Fresh Oregano ( you can use dried if you don't have fresh)
Trader Joe's organic polenta

1.Cut all the veggies and set aside.

2.Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray- I prefer Trader Joes Olive Oil spray. I find that lightly spraying a pan before adding the oil helps prevent sticking- especially with eggs and veggies. Add about 1 tablespoon EVOO. Add all the veggies at the same time. They will cook down.

3. Let them cook on medium- stirring occasionally, until they start to soften. While the veggies are cooking, prepare your herbs (if using fresh).

I am loving having fresh herbs at my fingertips all summer. I am going to go out and get some more to have, and next year I will devote one entire garden to growing herbs.

4.Once the veggies have cooked down, and the squash has started to soften, add the marinara sauce and the herbs.

5.Let the sauce simmer while preparing the polenta. If using the kind from TJ's- slice it. Next time I make this I will make my polenta from scratch, but this worked well for a quick and easy dinner.

6.Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray, add the margarine and minced (or pressed) garlic.

7. Once you can smell the garlic, add the sliced polenta. Premaid polenta is pretty bland so I cooked mine in the garlic to add extra flavor.

8. Let cook until heated through. Make sure to get both sides. I drained mine on papertowels before serving them.

9.Serve the polenta with the sauce on top.

My husband actually got home from work early the night I made this, so he had some too. Surprisingly, he loved it! We both agree that homemade polenta would be better- more flavor- but that it was definitely a filling meal. If you don't like polenta this sauce would be good on pasta, or over rice.

You could use different types of squash- I used what I had gotten in my CSA bag.


  1. YUM!!!
    I love that polenta, I keep meaning to buy it, but then I don't get around to it!

  2. Great post - I have never tried polenta but have seen it on the TV cooking shows quite often. Does it taste similar to cornbread in flavor, only softer?