When I was asked to taste-test Mutti tomato products it was not until I received some samples and saw the packaging that I instantly realized that I have already been using their products. I have been making homemade pizza topped with their pizza sauce and loving it. The Mutti Pizza Sauce is not only is it delicious but it is ready to use right from the can. So I was really pleased to be testing and tasting more of their products.
I love making this recipe when I need a really great appetizer. Start by preparing the polenta and let it cool, this can be done a day ahead or early in the day to give the polenta time to set. When the polenta has cooled, cut into 'fries' and bake for about 40 minutes until they become golden and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Dip into Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce and there you have it...crunch, creaminess, spicy and tomatoey.
The recipe calls for so few ingredients so it’s important to use quality tomato products made with quality ingredients. Mutti tomatoes are made from 100% tomatoes from Italy and are GMO-free. The Mutti Passata Strained Tomatoes are in a resealable glass bottle and the Polpa Finely Chopped Tomatoes are perfect to use in recipes that call for fresh tomatoes.
It being winter here in Toronto I tend to stock my shelves with lots of canned goods. I love fresh tomatoes and these Mutti bottled and canned tomatoes remind me of how fresh and wonderfully sweet jarred and tinned tomatoes can be and how much I can use them in my daily cooking, all year long.
Happy cooking and eating and thanks to Mutti for sponsoring this recipe.
BAKED POLENTA SWISS CHARD FRIES WITH A SPICY TOMATO DIPPING SAUCE
Serves 8 as an appetizer.
Ingredients For the Polenta Fries:
1 1/2 cups chopped swiss chard, washed and dried
olive oil for sauteing
1 small cooking onion
2 cups almond milk
3 cups water
2 cups medium or coarse polenta
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce:
1 jar strained tomatoes, (I use the Mutti Passata Strained Tomatoes)
1 tin chopped tomatoes, (I use the Mutti Finely Chopped Tomatoes)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp honey (or more to taste)
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes, (I like it really spicy to adjust to your taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Directions for the Polenta Fries:
1. Cut the swiss chard into small bite sized pieces.
2. Melt the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes, then ass the chard and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender.
3. In a large saucepan bring the water and almond milk to a boil.
4. Once the liquid is boiling add in the salt, pepper and polenta. Whisk until thickened, cover and cook over a low heat for 10-20 minutes.
5. Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking pan with some olive oil and pour the polenta into the dish, flatten with the a large spoon or spatula.
6. Cover the polenta and refrigerate for a few hours or until firm. (You could do this a day ahead).
7. When the polenta has cooled and is firm cut into 'fries' and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly oiled.
8. Brush the polenta fries with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.
9. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden and crunchy on the outside, turn using a spatula after 20 minutes. You will know when they are ready when they turn golden
10. Serve hot with the warm and spicy dipping sauce.
Directions for the Spicy Dipping Sauce
1. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil.
2. Add in the onion and garlic and stir around for about 3 minutes or until the onion has softened.
3. Add in the red wine and cook for another 3 minutes or until the wine comes to a boil.
4. Add in the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and stir everything together.
5. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and serve with the hot polenta fries.
The polenta can be prepared a day ahead then baked when needed.
The tomato dipping sauce can also be made ahead then warmed when ready to use.