Italian Style Beef with Polenta

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This recipe turned out so good!! I am a huge polenta fan, always have been, but I rarely make it or order it. Not sure why though because it is one of the easiest sides to make and is a nice change from pasta or rice. The Italian style beef had great flavor and really mixed well with the polenta. As an Italian myself I am quite picky about all things Italian and this made the cut. It is healthy too, which is always a nice surprise with Italian food, especially with any extra cheese or with beef, you don’t normally find that a recipe such as this would be low calorie as well. It had great flavor, creamy texture, and a nice balance of flavors. I brought it for lunch at work twice and it held up for that as well, although microwaving it sort of messes up the polenta, the taste is still there. All in all I would say this was a success!!!!

Serves 4

1 cup dry coarse-ground polenta
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of kosher salt
2 cups water
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon’s)
1/2 cup torn fresh basil


1. Place first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan. Gradually add 2 cups water and milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/3 cup cheese.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes. Stir to crumble. Remove beef; drain. Wipe pan; coat with cooking spray. Add onion, pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beef and sauce; simmer 8 minutes.
3. Divide polenta evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 cup beef mixture; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cheese and 2 tablespoons basil.


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