Italian Polenta with Sausages

by Heather on March 8, 2010

Since I only used two of the four sausages we had bought at Whole Foods for the lentils recipe, I searched in my fat Taste of Home cookbook and found one more sausage-related recipe. Polenta has always been a favorite of mine, but I had never bothered to make it on my own. It is one of the easiest foods to make, I couldn’t believe it! Just cornmeal, salt and water, literally- crazy….It may be a bit harder ordering polenta dishes at  Italian restaurants, now I know I can whip it up at home in no time. This dish was phenomonal! I was a little skeptical only because Alex hates oatmeal so I wouldn’t have been surprised if he wasn’t into the polenta. He loved it! After the sausages cooked whole on the skillet long enough so I could cut them into slices, I did just that and put them back on the skillet to cook some more. This gave them a great charred taste that carried through into the sauce perfectly. The canned organic tomatoes I used (365 Whole Foods brand) had a fresh flavor and the cooked garlic also helped add a little smokiness to the sauce. The leftovers were just as tasty and provided my lunch the next two days :)

Now, I just need to figure out what to do with my leftover polenta….

Polenta With Sausage, adapted from Taste of Home cookbook

4 cups water, divided

1 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound fresh sausages (any kind will do, but I used one chicken apple and one mild pork)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup water and cornmeal. In a saucepan, bring salt and remaining water to a boil. Slowly, stir in cornmeal mixture. Reduce heat; cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage and garlic over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink; drain if necessary. Cool slightly. Cut sausage into 1-inch pieces; return to skillet. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and parsley; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Spread half of the cornmeal mixture in a serving dish; top with half the sausage mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve immediately. Makes about 6 servings.

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