I served these at my New Year’s Eve party. They were one of those, rare “please please please let this idea in my head work” hail marys that actually turned out exactly as I had imagined. A Festivus Miracle indeed.
I don’t have a recipe, but I can tell you they were easier than they looked. First, I cut a butternut squash in half, oiled it, and roasted it in the oven until it was soft. Scraped out the insides and threw it in the food processor.
To make the polenta, I heated 2 cups of whole milk, 1 cup of water, and about 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and added 1 cup of polenta over medium heat. I whisked and stirred for a good ten minutes, then added about a 1 1/2 cups of butternut squash puree to the mix, as well as a good heaping teaspoon of salt. Stir until it starts to get firm and the corn tastes cooked.
Pour the mixture into an oiled 9X13 pan and refrigerate over night. The next day, I heated an oven to 350 and baked it for a good 30 minutes or so, until the top began to brown. Let it cool, then cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.
To make the pesto, I cut a small chunk of parmesan cheese (probably about 1-2 ounces) and 5 or 6 large sage leaves and pounded the hell out of them in a mortar and pestle. Add a bunch of salt and pepper and about 1 1/2 cups of walnuts. Pound away until you reach the desired consistency and taste. If it’s too sagey, add more walnuts. If it’s not sage-y enough, mince some and add it in. It’s really trial and error here. Once the balance is right, mix in some olive oil until it gets to a pesto consistency.
To serve, dollop the pesto and a bit of mascarpone cheese on each square. Surprisingly, they still looked and tasted fine well past midnight, so you can make these a bit in advance and serve at room temperature without a problem.