20-minute Polenta Puttanesca

20-minute Polenta Puttanesca

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When I was in college and learning how to cook (you should have SEEN the way I use to hold knives), I didn’t have a big comfort zone with recipes, nor a large amount of curiosity to experiment. I had no cooking supplies other than basic utensils, a couple of frying pans, one small saucepan, and a blender. After about 2 years of trying to feed myself, I finally started to get the hang of it and dip my toes in the water of making things without a recipe in front of me. Sure, this still consisted of way too much cheese, but at least I was trying. With gusto, I threw ingredients together, to mixed results. But at least 10% of the things that I tried to make turned out really great! And the rest were mostly edible, too. One of the creations that was a hit right away was this polenta dish. When I discovered the combination of capers and olives I had no idea that there was something called puttanesca sauce, but it was sweet and tangy and went great with the leftover cooked polenta that we had. So great that I didn’t reach for the cheese shaker. I didn’t have any mental bandwidth for this at the time, but this was probably the first wholesome vegan meal that I ever came up with. And it remains one of my favorites! I’ll be the first to admit that this puttanesca might not be totally authentic, but it has the capers, olives, tomatoes and parsley going on so it has to at least be in the ballpark. It’s dang delicious and I think you’d love it if you give it a try. Not only that, but you can have it on the table in around 20 minutes – definitely less than half an hour.

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