Rosemary Sauce with Polenta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My mother-in-law's Rosemary-infused Tomato Sauce is legendary! My husband grew up eating in with chicken over polenta. I enjoy it a sea of sautéed veggies. No matter how you eat it, we all agree it's delicious! Ridiculously easy to make, requiring just a few whole food ingredients, it is worth the wait while it simmers! Can all be made ahead and heated up when ready to eat.
Recipe type: Dinner, Veggies
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian optional, Vegan optional
Serves: 4 servings
Rosemary Sauce
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (it's about 1½ heaping tablespoons)
  • 1½ heaping tablespoons Rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt*
  • cheese cloth & string
  • ½ cup dry white wine (we used Pinot Grigio)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil for sautéing chicken OR 2 tablespoons olive oil if making vegetarian version
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into 2 inch pieces (skip if making vegetarian)
  • 2 15 oz cans Gluten-Free tomato sauce (we used Muir Glenn)
  • *Note: my mother in law uses 2 different salts but if you only have regular salt, that is fine! Just use 1 teaspoon salt.
Vegetables (pick and choose your favorites, depending on how many people eating vegetables, you may have extra for another day)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into slices, then quarters
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into slices, then quarters
  • 1 package pre-cut mushrooms, or 1 package mushrooms, rinsed & chopped
  • 2-4 cups of fresh baby spinach (according to taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 6-7 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Make at a ratio of 1 cup gluten-free polenta cornmeal to 4 cups cold water to ½ teaspoon salt (for 4 servings: we made 2 cups cornmeal: 8 cups water: 1 teaspoon salt)
  • Note: the only gluten-free cornmeal we have found recently is Colavita Instant Polenta Cornmeal.
1 handful crumbled feta or goat cheese or mozzarella for topping (optional)
Rosemary Sauce
  1. Place chopped garlic, rosemary and salts in a cheese cloth. Wrap the cloth around the garlic rosemary mix and tie it closed with a string or another piece of cheese cloth.
  2. Pour white wine in a liquid measure cup and place wrapped up cheese cloth with rosemary and garlic directly into the wine. Let soak for 15-20 mins.
  3. Meanwhile if using chicken, in a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, not burning. Add chicken and saute, stirring frequently, until chicken is starting to brown, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. When chicken is browned, add wine and cheese cloth directly to the pan and let wine cook off, approx 7-10 minutes. Wine will evaporate.
  5. If making vegetarian, after rosemary/garlic mix has sat in wine for at least 20 minutes, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauce pan. When shimmering, not burning, add wine and rosemary/ garlic cheese cloth. Let simmer for about 5 minutes while wine burns off.
  6. Once wine is evaporated, add tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Add 1½ - 2 cups water to thin the sauce. Stir to combine. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer, then lower heat to simmer and let sauce simmer with the cheese cloth still in the pan for 45-60 minutes.
  7. Remove cheese cloth before serving. (the longer you leave the cheese cloth in the sauce, the more flavorful the sauce will be. So taste it after simmering for 45 minutes and if you love it, take the cheese cloth out)
  1. In a medium pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 3-4 minced garlic. Saute 30 seconds, until fragrant, Add mushrooms and saute 7-10 minutes until tender and starting to brown. Set aside.
  2. Remove from heat and wiipe the pan clean. Using the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the remaining 3-4 minced garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add zucchini and squash. Saute 7-10 minutes until tender and starting to brown. Add spinach and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until spinach wilts. Add mushrooms back into pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Set aside.
  1. Prepare polenta according to package OR follow my mother in law's way: place cold water and cornmeal in a large pot at a ratio or 1 cup cornmeal: 4 cups water: ½ teaspoon salt (for 4 servings we use 2 cups cornmeal: 8 cups water: 1 teaspoon salt).
  2. Over medium high heat, bring corn meal and water to a boil, stirring constantly. Once comes to a boil, lower heat to low and stir constantly until polenta thickens so thick, not watery. Approximately 10 minutes if using Instant polenta, 20 minutes if regular cornmeal.
  3. Pour polenta onto individual plates, spread evenly with a spoon and let sit about 5 minutes for polenta to set. When set, you will be able to cut a slice of polenta -- it will have a consistency close to pancake.
To serve
  1. Pour sauce over warm polenta, top with chicken or vegetables to taste. Top with feta or mozzarella if desired.
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