Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Polenta... cheesecake... pie?

Once I finally finished assembling tonight's dinner, Three-Cheese Polenta Pie, and placed it in the oven, it felt like it took forever to finish cooking. Jeff and I were waiting excitedly by the timer as it slowly crept down because it just looked and smelled so inviting.

Polenta is quickly becoming a staple around here (as you may have noticed lately!) - this recipe transforms it into a delicious crust to hold a cheesy filling. We have usually used a 4:1 ratio of liquid to cornmeal, but this uses less as you want the polenta very firm and moldable. Once prepared, the thick mixture is scooped into a pie plate and spread over the bottom and up the sides - the easiest way to achieve this is by dampening your hands to keep it from sticking. You may want to work it around with a spatula first and let it sit to cool down slightly so it is not so hot. This polenta "shell" is then placed in the oven to crisp up.

The filling is whipped up by combining ricotta cheese with a couple eggs, mozzarella cheese, a touch of flour, parsley and basil. The cheesy mixture is spread into the hot polenta crust, sprinkled with sharp fresh grated Parmesan cheese and placed back in the oven until the center is set. When I initially went through the recipe, I didn't really realize how it was going to end up once finished, but the best way I can think to describe this now is as a dense, moist and certainly savory cheesecake-like dish encased with a thick corn crust. Interesting, unique and kept my taste buds anticipating each bite - while good plain, think about topping it off with your favorite chunky marinara sauce to add one more layer of flavor.


  1. Yum, this look very yummy!!
    I like the idea of the polenta crust, really interesting!
    The filling is just like savory baked ricotta (which we used to call "baked ricotta tart" in my country - Brasil), which I really like, and can only imagine how good it would be in a polenta cruts!

  2. OMG! I'm picking up some ricotta today. Thanks Joe.

    Martha in KS

  3. Ana - did they use any kind of crust or was it just the baked cheese?

    Martha - Woohoo!

  4. Mmm, I've got to try this. I love all those ingredients, they sound great together!! Nice pictures too.

  5. I printed this out to make on Sunday. I am going to try it in the small springform pan. Looks amazing!!

  6. Oh mercy me. Our menu's done for this week, but I know what's for dinner next Saturday!

  7. I must try this!!!! It's lik someone created it for my taste buds :) Oh, my...

  8. Jenny - we had the leftovers yesterday and it was just as good! I'll have to make this again soon.

    Doberlady - I hope it works out for you!

    Joel - Let me know!

    Medena - hee hee!

  9. Unique and looks delicious :)

  10. Barbie and Maryann - Thank you!