Polenta Lasagna

For that extra rich lasagna experience, try switching out the noodles with polenta layered with mozzarella and a hearty bolognese sauce.


  • Bolognese sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Polenta:
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup polenta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Assembly:
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Sauce: Heat olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook while breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the garlic and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir until combined, then pour in the wine. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and reduce for 2 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes. Taste for seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cream and season with nutmeg. Turn off heat and reserve. You should have about 4 cups of sauce.
  3. Polenta: Add broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the polenta in a stream while whisking. Stir frequently until polenta thickens, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the butter, cream and Parmesan; cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
  5. Add a thin layer of polenta to the bottom of the casserole dish. Add half the bolognese sauce and layer with one-third of the mozzarella and some freshly grated Parmesan. Spread another layer of polenta on top of the cheese. Add remaining bolognese, a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan, and a final thin layer of polenta. Dot with any remaining sauce and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and golden.