Italian-Style Beef with Polenta

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I have recently found out I love basil.  It all started with my new favorite panini and now whenever I see basil listed in the ingredients I am interested in trying the recipe out.  So now you know, this recipe has fresh basil!  And it does not disappoint.  Have you ever tried polenta before?  This was our first time and it turned out alright – it works well with the beef and marinara sauce, not to mention a nice change from pasta.  Yum!

Italian-Style Beef with Polenta, from October 2011 Cooking Light

Ingredients

1 cup dry coarse-ground polenta
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of kosher salt
2 cups water
1 cup 1% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan 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
1/2 cup torn fresh basil

Directions

Combine polenta, oregano and salt in large saucepan.  Gradually add water and milk, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in 1/3 cup of cheese.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add beef and sauté 5 minutes. Stir to crumble. Remove beef and drain.  Wipe pan and 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.

Divide polenta evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 cup beef mixture; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cheese and 2 tablespoons basil.

Yields 4 servings

Nutrition per serving:  482 calories, 5g fat, 7g saturated fat, 73mg cholesterol, 695mg sodium, 80.9g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 29.3g protein.

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