I don't consider myself a foodie. My kids are very picky and truthfully, I am not very adventurous in my food choices. This recipe is what I would consider comfort food! The polenta is so creamy and delicious. The puttanesca sauce is so tangy and flavorful that I ate until my belly hurt.

This is a meatless dish, so my husband was a bit disappointed in that. But now I am armed with a little more information than I had when I first prepared this dish. You see, one cup of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) contains almost 12 grams of protein. This dish is loaded with vegetables and good fats. Plus, it is so pretty on the plate that I almost didn't want to eat it. I just wanted to take pictures of it!

The dish was quick which is a qualifier for me to even consider cooking it. The sauce would freeze well if you wanted to double it and sock some away for a night you need a quick meal. Qualifier number 2 for me when choosing a new recipe. The polenta probably won't freeze as well. I used quick polenta, so I didn't feel that was a huge downside to this recipe.

My kids wouldn't touch it, but my husband and I both loved it. Maybe your kids are a bit more adventurous than mine. Funny, my oldest loves sushi, especially if it has eel on it. Doesn't bat an eye at fish eggs, or seaweed. But, she wouldn't even consider this dish.

For the original recipe, check out Mountainmamacooks.com



1/2 cup polenta

2 cups water

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp. butter

2-3 tbsp. half and half

Note: I used instant polenta, and just followed the directions for preparation from the box. I did add the butter, cheese and half and half as the recipe called for.

Garbanzo Bean Puttanesca:

3 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. finely chopped onion

2-3 cloves finely minced garlic

1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered

2 tbsp. drained capers

1/2 tsp dried crushed basil

1/8 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes (optional- I left this out for my kids)


1 (14 oz) can garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)


For the polenta:

1. in a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Slowly stir in polenta and salt. Bring back to a boil and then immediately turn to low and let polenta simmer about 30-40 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of water if polenta gets too thick.

2. Off heat, stir in parmesan cheese, butter and half and half. Check for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve.

3. For puttanesca sauce:

4. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly carmelized, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the kalamata olives and capers and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.

6. Add both cans of tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.

7. Add garbanzo beans, and adjust seasoning to taste.

8. Divide polenta between 4 plates and top with puttanesca sauce. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.



Serve with a salad and a glass of red wine.

File this one under delicious and quick!