Polenta with Stewed Peppers and Tomatoes


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3 cups water 1 cup polenta 3 T extra-virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped salt, to taste 1 medium onion 1 large red bell pepper cut lengthwise into strips 1 large yellow or green pepper, cut lengthwise into strips 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped ¼ teaspoon dried oregano freshly ground black pepper ½ t red wine vinegar ½ t sugar 2 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional) pitted black olives, preferably kalamata

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Lightly oil a 9-10 inch pie plate, set aside If using instant polenta: in a medium deep-sided saucepan combine water, polenta, 1 T of oil, ⅓ of the garlic, and slat. Bring to boil over high heat, immediately reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often with a long-handled wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. Spoon polenta into pie plate, pressing down with back of a spoon to form a smooth surface. Let stand 20 minutes to become firm. Cover with foil and keep warm. In medium stockpot, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 mins. Add peppers and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, 5-8 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper. bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar, stirring well. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes. Spoon tomato mixture on top of polenta. Garnish with parsley and olives. Cut into wedges and serve warm.