Polenta di Fagioli Nero

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c black beans
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 14.5 oz cans plain petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 c water
  • 4 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 c yellow ground corn (polenta/grits)
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1.5 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Parmesan cheese

You should start out with your beans mostly cooked, so canned would work in this just fine. I won’t judge you. Mine went back into the crock pot with the tomatoes, cayenne, 3 tsp of garlic paste and water for a few hours until they were meal-tender. Don’t overzealously season the entire pot in an assumption that you’re making an entire Italian meal for five; dinner tonight will only call for a fraction of the batch and the rest can be stored in universal flavor anticipation for a maybe Indian- or Mexican-inspired meal.

To make the polenta: put broth and milk with salt, pepper and 1 tsp garlic paste in a deep pot and bring to a rapid boil on H. Slowly add in the polenta whilst stirring; reduce heat to MH and stir constantly until liquid is reduced and an oatmeal-like consistency turns about. Pour into a small, greased loaf pan and bake at 350° for 15-20m. When done, let cool completely before slicing.

Upon dinner time, remove most of the batch and set aside to cool before refrigeration. To tonight’s dinner-for-two portion that still remains in the crock pot, add the pesto paste, 1/2 tsp garlic paste and stir well. Mince your fresh spinach for topping and set aside. And now, after being properly patient about it all, turn your polenta loaf upside-down on a plate, shake it out and slice it. Spoon beans and tomatoes over the slices then top that with Parmesan and minced spinach. The polenta was as velvety as if I’d made it with butter and cream, and was an excellent gentle compliment to those rowdy tomatoes and beans. 4 spoons!

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