Critical to this recipe is the tomato sauce. I will put a caveat in there and say that if you wanted to make a quick mid-week version of this, knowing that the compromise will be in the flavour and of course the Sun Temple ethos of freshness being best for your body, then go ahead and use a can of tomatoes which you spruce up with some garlic, onions and olive oil. But, if you really want to experience the gorgeous-ness that this is, then please make the fresh tomato sauce.
1 quantity fresh tomato sauce or 2, 411g (14oz) tins toms
100g (3.5oz) freshly grated parmesan
160g (6oz) corn meal (polenta)
750ml (2.5 c) water
1 tsp salt
200g (7 oz) roasted peppers roughly cut into pieces
325g (12oz) mozzarella sliced
large bunch basil or coriander
Pre heat the oven to 200°C(400°F). Prepare a roasting tray with enough olive oil to coat the peppers you choose to use. Again for an easy mid-week version, you could use a jar of store bought roasted peppers, but the taste/health benefits will be compromised. Acceptable but compromised.
Put the roasting tray with the peppers in the oven and keep an eye on them until they are soft through and have a bit of colour about the edges. When you remove the peppers, turn the oven down to 180°C (350°F).
Please read this bit through so that you can imagine your end result before you start. This will hopefully avoid any calamities.
To make the polenta lasagne “sheets,” bring the water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan and add the salt. Take hold of your favourite whisk and slowly pour all the polenta into the boiling water while whisking. It isn’t terrifying in that it doesn’t all lump up or do something funny, but you do need to focus on this only. Don’t stop to talk on the phone, feed the dogs or check your email. Without stopping your whisking, when you can see that it has thickened a lot, add all the parmesan and stir until well mixed. It should be quite stiff at this point.
What you need to do next is spoon the polenta onto a waiting surface. I use a teflon sheet on my counter top. You need to then spread it out, using the back of a spoon or a spatula, to about 1 cm thick in the shape that when cut in two will best give you two layers in your chosen casserole.
So, going back to the very beginning, please be aware that you need to end up with a mixture that will harden into a moveable piece but not so hard that it cannot be spread or ends up all crumbly. The reason I’m going on about this is that all polenta is not created equal, so a bit of judgement is necessary from you.
Splash in enough tomato sauce to just cover the base of your casserole dish. Then gently lower in the first “sheet” of lasagne. Don’t panic if it breaks or falls apart as once you get it in situ, you can just patch it up with your fingers. It won’t be seen in the end result.
Roughly cut the roasted peppers and mozzarella and add all the peppers and the chopped herbs but half of the mozzarella. Pour in half of the waiting tomato sauce making sure to get it evenly spread. Place on the second layer of polenta and cover with the remaining tomato sauce and the mozzarella.
All that’s left now is to place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until everything is bubbling and hot through. If you wanted to, and had a “devil may care” attitude that day, you could spread some more grated parmesan on the top before the last roasting.