My Italian grandmother used to top polenta with stewed meats. I like to replace the meat with vegetables and beans.
Add a green salad and perhaps some crusty bread for a healthy and satisfying meal.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably petite-cut), undrained
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tube of prepared polenta (plain)
In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
Add the garlic and paprika, and saute for another minute or two. Do not let the garlic burn.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another minute.
Add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Raise heat to high, and bring almost to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Uncover, add 1/2 tablespoon of the parsley, and simmer over medium to medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.
Meanwhile, cut the polenta into 8 slices. Heat the remaining1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Add the polenta slices, and cook, turning once, until heated through and lightly browned on both sides.
To serve, arrange polenta slices on serving plate(s). Top with the chickpea mixture.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley, and serve.
-- 4 servings (2 polenta slices per serving)