Polenta Pie With Fresh Mushrooms
and Spinach

1 pound portabella mushrooms, stems removed
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 package (10 ounces) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup prepared pesto
1 cup instant polenta or cornmeal

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Cut mushrooms into thin slices. In a large nonstick skillet, heat over high heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the mushrooms to a small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon of the Parmigiano-Reggiano; set aside. Into mushrooms remaining in skillet, stir in spinach and pesto; cook until hot, about 2 minutes. Cook polenta according to package Directions. Remove from heat; stir in the remaining 7 tablespoons of cheese. Spread half of the polenta in the prepared pie plate. Spoon the mushroom-spinach mixture over the polenta; with a knife, spread the remaining polenta on top; top with the remaining mushroom-Parmiagiano mixture. Bake, uncovered until heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes; cut into wedges. Serve on a bed of tomato sauce or top with a dollop of pesto, if desired.

(Make ahead hint: Cover pie with aluminum foil; refrigerate up to 24 hours. To reheat; bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)

Yield: 4 Portions