Friday, January 9, 2009

Comfort Food: Sausages on Polenta



I have had this recipe filed in my favorites, waiting for a cold night to make it. It was inspired by Marie from Proud Italian Cook, who whips this stuff up without a recipe. It's in the genes.

I am usually not a recipe girl, but having not much experience with polenta, Marie guided me through it. She said "Stacey, buy a box of instant polenta, add water and stir". Ok, I can do that.

My mother in law's family originated from Northern Italy, where they used polenta a lot instead of pasta as a side dish.
I always seem to order it in restaurants, but never make it at home! So here goes!

I cooked up some excellent homemade sausage studded w/ broccoli rabe and sun dried tomatoes that I had in the freezer. I browned them in a skillet with a little olive oil.
The only thing I did differently from Marie was I roasted my own cherry tomatoes instead of using canned tomatoes, which I often do for sauce. A little olive oil, kosher salt at 400 degrees until they burst.

When the sausages were cooked, I added the roasted cherry tomatoes, a can of drained and rinsed Italian Berlotti beans and some chicken stock to the pan to make some gravy. I cooked this for 2 minutes on low heat and kept it warm while cooking the polenta.

Now for the hard part (NOT!):

I cooked the polenta as per the package directions, and kept stirring until I got the desired thickness. I added fresh, chopped rosemary and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano & a tbsp of salt.
Throw the polenta in a bowl and the sausage mixture on top, and you have the most wonderful comfort food, prepared in very little time. My husband loved this too, he said it was "real stick to your ribs kind of food!".

24 comments:

Proud Italian Cook said...

Look at you! Cooking the Po len ta!
Your roasted tomato addition sounds perfect. It's cold, snowy, gloomy, and grey today, a nice bowl of this would bring me lot's of comfort!! I'm so glad you and your Man liked it! :))
xox, Marie

Lisa said...

It looks delicious. Trader Joes also has the already made polenta that you can slice and saute. Have you ever tried that?

Anonymous said...

wimp..... nothing like a wooden spoon, a pot of boiling water and 20 minutes of stirring polenta, when finished - dumping on a board, taking a long piece of the right kind of cord to slide under it and slice!!! THOSE WERE THE DAYS!!!

mil

kat said...

Oh, I need to try this. I noticed Matt orders polenta dishes in restaurants but I never make it.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Good to meet you guys last night. This looks like a nice and simple and roasting the cherry tomatoes was a good call:-)

Mila said...

I love polenta! This looks sooo yummy!

Giff said...

nice winter dish :) I am imagining the flavor of those roasted tomatoes!

lisaiscooking said...

Cold weather and polenta sounds like a great combination!

Culinarywannabe said...

Love polenta!! Being in NYC I really miss grits (just ask for them at the supermarket and see what kind of looks you get!), and polenta is the perfect substitute. This looks awesome!

Bob said...

This dish looks great! Do you have a recipe for the sausage? I would love to see it.

You know, I have never had polenta. I keep meaning to try some, but I never remember.

rcoda said...

Brings back memories of Grandma Myrtle's Chicken and Polenta. I miss that. I'll bet Henry does, too!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I love polenta and Marie gave you the perfect recipe for it. This is a great combo on top.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

The polenta and sausage is just the ticket for dinner on a cold winter night. I occasionally make it the old-fashioned way, stirring for 45 minutes or so, but most of the time revert to the instant polenta as you did. My Italian friends think it's heresy, but I think it works great. We have a polenta festa every year at the Italian cultural organization where I live. You wouldn't believe the number of different polenta dishes that people bring. I'll keep you informed for next year.

Lori Lynn said...

Gee we are the that same wavelength aren't we? Maybe due to my visit to New Jersey? Or maybe because Marie has such great ideas?

The dish looks great. Your rosemary sprig makes for a nice photo too.
LL

We Are Never Full said...

nice dish. i'm so glad you finally are not afraid to do polenta. it's often a go-to side dish to many things for us. next time swirl in some cream or whole milk in the end or a tablespoon of butter just to up the creamy factor. you know us...

also, now that you can "do" polenta try some roman gnocchi! http://www.weareneverfull.com/gnocchi-alla-romana-roman-gnocchi-those-romans-do-it-again/

doggybloggy said...

that looks so good and satisfying I wouldnt stop until I even ate the bowl...

Pam said...

What I would give to have this for dinner right now.

The gingerbread muffins look really tasty too.

noble pig said...

What a nice dinner. Perfect for winter. I would truly love to sit down to this meal!

Daily Spud said...

I love polenta (and I will admit to mostly using the instant variety but, hey, it works for me!) and I especially love the fact that it's so versatile - soft, sliced, baked, ... and it's just great with roasted veggies (the roasted cherry tomatoes here sound great!)

Nicole Lang said...

I I plan on ordering Borlotti from Rancho Gordo next! That looks delicious!

rcoda said...

I had this appetizer at the old (Robert) Kincaid's Bistro in Carmel Valley... it was grilled polenta with wild mushrooms and the most delicious brown sauce on top. Polenta is so versatile. If you're ever out Carmel-way, he has a new place, Robert Kincaid's Whitehouse on Lighthouse (Ave.) in Pacific Grove. It's in an old Victorian house. Beautiful and great food.

Peter M said...

P, B &P...Pork, beans and polenta...good rib-sticking grub for these cold winter nights.

The Food Hunter said...

This looks delicious. I admire you for making your own sausage. It's something I've been wanting to try but still a little hesitant. Maybe sometime soon.

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