Polenta and Eggplant Sauce

2 cups boiling water
1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (any kind)
6-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups polenta or yellow cornmeal
1 red pepper, cut in strips
2 tablespoons parsley
2-1/2 cups canned tomatoes, crushed
2 cups cubed eggplant
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a small bowl, combine the boiling water and mushrooms. Let soak until soft. Drain, reserve the soaking liquid.

2. In a large frying pan, heat oil. Add eggplant, cook for 5 minutes or until browned and soft. Stir in mushrooms, peppers, and onions; stir constantly.

3. Pour in the tomatoes and reserved mushroom liquid; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the polenta by bringing the 6 1/2c water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta or cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low; cook; stirring often, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until thick and smooth.

5. Pour the polenta onto a large serving platter and keep warm until sauce is ready. Spoon the eggplant sauce on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

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