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polenta fries with roasted red pepper ketchup header

Polenta Fries with Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup

This recipe for Polenta Fries with Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup is tasty and different with a crisp exterior and a soft tender interior. Easy to make and impressive to serve.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Additional Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Other sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings


  • For the Fries
  • ½ box instant polenta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper "Ketchup"
  • 1 ½ cups Marinara Sauce
  • 1 7.25 - ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Prepare the Polenta Fries: Cook according to the package directions "Basic" polenta less ½ cup water. While the polenta is cooking, add the oil, salt, and pepper. 
  • When almost done, stir in the cheese. Immediately after it is done, pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan that has been lightly coated with olive oil and smooth the top with a spatula that has been dipped in olive oil. The polenta should be about ½ inch thick). Cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing it on the top of the polenta. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, or until very firm. (Can be made a day ahead.)
  • Turn the polenta onto a cutting board, cut in half laterally, then cut each half into ½ inch "fries". 
  • Heat about ½ inch of oil in a skillet or frying pan to 375° F. Add the fries, in batches, cook until browned, then turn to evenly brown each side. Remove to a wire rack to drain. Keep fries warm in a 300°F oven until all the fries have been made, adding additional oil as needed. Serve with warm Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup. 
  • Prepare the Roasted Red Pepper "Ketchup": Place all the ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth.
  • Pour blended sauce into a heavy saucepan, bring to a simmer; simmer about 30 - 45 minutes, or until very thick. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. 
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keyword gluten-free, polenta fried, polenta fries
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