Wine, tomatoes partner in polenta

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Eggplant and Tomato Sauce Over Polenta
1 serving
Red wine and tomatoes are natural partners, but most tomato sauce recipes make vast quantities. This hearty one-serving dish can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the anchovy. From Food editor Joe Yonan.
For the polenta
2 C. water (may substitute low-sodium or homemade vegetable broth)
1/2 C. (uncooked) polenta (may substitute stone-ground cornmeal)
Pinch kosher or sea salt
For the eggplant and sauce
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small anchovy fillet, finely chopped (optional)
1 small clove garlic, cut into thin slices (1 tsp.)
1 medium shallot, cut into thin slices (2 Tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 small Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 C.)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 C. no-salt canned diced tomatoes, plus their juices
1/2 c. full-bodied red wine, such as shiraz or zinfandel
1 tsp. red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. sugar, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
For the polenta: Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the polenta and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the polenta is gently bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, until the polenta is the consistency of pureed potatoes. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, prepare the eggplant and sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the anchovy (if using), garlic, shallot and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the garlic and shallot start to brown and the anchovy has broken up completely.
Add the eggplant, then season with the salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until it is nicely browned and has started to soften.
Add the tomatoes, their juices and the wine, stirring to combine.
Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil; cook, stirring as needed, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency.
Remove from the heat.
Add the red wine vinegar and sugar, stirring to combine; taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Transfer the polenta to a wide, shallow bowl; spoon the eggplant and sauce on top.
Sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano; serve hot.
Per serving: 559 calories, 9 g protein, 84 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 585 mg sodium, 12 g dietary fiber, 17 g sugar