Monday, November 23, 2009

Polenta Squares Topped with Sausage Ragu

I made this dish this week as a quick and easy meal to get us through until Thanksgiving.  I love polenta and enjoy using it in lieu of pasta, especially as I am trying to cut down on my gluten intake.  This was kind of an ad hoc red sauce that turned out pretty well!

2 spicy italian sausage links
     -meat removed from the casings and crumbled
1 24oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
olive oil
1 onion diced
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 celery stalk diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
splash of red wine
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
fresh parsley and basil chopped ( less than 1/4 bunch of parsley and about 10 basil leaves)


1 cup quick cooking polenta
3 cups water
parmigan cheese for grating

In large sauce pan heat some olive oil and cook the onion, carrot and celery until onion is soft and translucent.

Add the sausage and garlic and cook until the meat is browned.

Add a healthy splash of red wine and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

Add the tomato paste and canned tomatoes, dried basil, red pepper flakes and simmer about 40 minutes.

Add a splash of balsamic and stir in the fresh herbs.  Simmer for a few more minutes and remove from the heat.

While the ragu is simmering, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan. 

Turn off the heat, add a pinch of salt and whisk in the cup of polenta.  Continue stirring the polenta with a wooden spoon until it thickens.

Add a little butter and grate parmesan cheese into the polenta.

Pour the polenta out into a baking dish and smooth.  Turn on the broiler and put the polenta under the broiler until the top just begins to harden.

Pull out and let cool.

Cut the polenta into squares and top with a hearty helping of the ragu and sprinkle a little more parmesan on top for serving. 

We served this meal with the Roasted Cauliflower.

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