Charlotte's olive polenta cakes with tomato & mascarpone sauce
Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
Don't be scared of using polenta - it's really simple and makes a good alternative to pasta or potatoes
- 150g polenta
- 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 1tbsp mascarpone
- 700ml milk
- oil, to grease the tin
- salt and pepper
- Black olives, chopped
- 3tbsp mascarpone
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 courgette, chopped
- A splash of red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Baby spinach leaves
- Mozzarella, sliced
Be careful when you are cooking the polenta on the hob - it gets very, very hot and spits, so stand well back to avoid a nasty burn.
- Heat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Line a cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease.
- Put the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the polenta all at once in a stream, stirring constantly to remove any lumps. Stir in the cream, mascarpone, chopped olives, salt and pepper. Whisk for about 5 minutes until thickened.
- Put the polenta into the cake tin, levelling the surface as best you can. Bake for 20-30 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a pan and add your chopped garlic. After a minute or so, add the tomatoes, pepper, courgette and splash of red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Leave to reduce down on a medium heat until thickened.
- Remove the polenta from the tin and cut it into slices. Brush the slices on both sides with oil.
- Heat up a griddle pan until very hot. Place the polenta slices on griddle for 2-3 minutes, turning, until crisp round the edges. You can seal the edges by holding them on the hot griddle.
- Add the spinach leaves to a serving plate. Arrange the olive polenta slices. on top
- Stir through the 3tbsp of mascarpone to the sauce, adding extra if you prefer a creamier texture.
- Pour the sauce over the polenta slices and scatter pieces of mozzarella on top.
- Your olive polenta cakes with tomato and mascarpone sauce are now ready to eat!