Sunday, June 12, 2011

Parmesan Polenta and Sausage Sauce

This dish is freaking amazing. Absolutely delicious. Bf even said it was one of the best things I've ever made. That's some serious praise right there! I only made a few changes to the original recipe (primarily upping the amount of sausage and leaving out the crushed red pepper, which of course bf put back in) and I wouldn't change anything when I make it again.

Parmesan Polenta and Sausage Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
First, I removed the casings from the sausage. Then, I cooked up the sausage meat in a tablespoon of olive oil. How, you ask? Great question (not really, but I figured I should explain how I cook sausage meat). I heat up the olive oil before adding the meat. Then I cook one side of the sausages for a few minutes. While the first side is cooking, I use a wood spoon to try and cut up the sausage into several pieces. You can't quite cut up the pieces, but you can get the meat to begin to separate. Then you flip the sausage and cook the other side for a few minutes and continue to break up the meat. Finally, cook a few more minutes on whichever side isn't cooked through.

Once the sausage meat is cooked, I added the chopped up onion and cooked for a few minutes until the onion was tender. The timing of the original recipe was a bit off. I had to cook the sausage for a while longer than suggested because it wasn't pre-cooked. Also, the onion took a bit longer because I just cut up the majority of an onion and I'm pretty sure it was larger than a cup.

I then added the garlic, cooked for about 30 seconds, then added the tomatoes and oregano and simmered for about fifteen minutes. Make sure you stir it every so often so it cooks evenly!

While the tomato sauce was simmering, I brought the chicken broth and water to a boil. Next, I added the polenta and whisked the mix until it was nice and thick. Then, I added the Parmesan cheese, turned off the heat, and whisked until it was well blended.

This is what the polenta looks like when it's all done.

By this time, the sauce had been simmering for about 15 minutes, so I added the basil and let it simmer for about another 5 until it had thickened a bit.

I then served the sauce on top of the polenta. Yum! We even went back for seconds because it was so tasty!

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