Flavor results are worth the effort of making this homemade polenta recipe. Serve it, in individual casserole dishes, layered with creamy white sauce and fresh tomato sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated Asiago cheese, bake until bubbly, and serve.
For polenta, in a medium saucepan bring the 3 cups water to boiling. In a small bowl combine the cornmeal, 1 cup cold water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slowly add the cornmeal mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Asiago or Parmesan cheese, stirring until melted.
Spray an 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread hot polenta evenly into the pan; cool slightly. Cover; chill 2 hours or overnight. Cut polenta into 1-inch squares; set aside.
Meanwhile, for sauces, in a medium saucepan bring tomato sauce to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
For white sauce, in a medium saucepan gradually stir the milk into the flour, basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat; stir in another 1/4 cup of cheese, stirring until melted.
To assemble, divide red sauce among individual shallow casseroles (a scant 1/4 cup each). Divide polenta cubes among casseroles. Spoon white sauce over cubes; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon of the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and the cheese begins to brown. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.