Soft Polenta with White Beans & Crispy Sage for Two

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups water or Vegetable Stock, divided

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/8 teaspoon salt

10 whole fresh sage leaves

1 tablespoon whole-wheat pastry flour

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 clove garlic, minced

1 (15-ounce) can organic cannellini beans, juice reserved

1 cup diced tomaotes (seeds and core removed)

1/4 cup diced roasted red pepper

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water or stock to a boil over high heat. Stir together an additional 1/2 cup water or stock, cornmeal and salt. Slowly pour into the boiling liquid, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Cook until desired consistency.

Place sage leaves in a mesh strainer and sprinkle with flour. Shake to evenly coat sage, set aside. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add sage leaves and fry until crispy, moving and turning leaves frequently with tongs, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain crispy leaves on a paper towel and set aside.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the olive oil from skillet, and reserve. Heat skillet over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add beans, bean juice, stock and 1 tablespoon of the reserved olive oil. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the rapidly boiling liquid forms a rich sauce. Add the remaining ingredients, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Divide polenta between two large, shallow bowls, spoon bean mixture over and top with crispy sage leaves.