Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Polenta with Red Sauce and Sausage - Caity & Cathy

This recipe is an old Walsh Cookbook favorite, from way back when the Walsh Cookbook was still in the .doc phase.  It is so easy to make and fantastic comfort food for any season. 

Here is my mom's excerpt from the original recipe:

" This is another great recipe from our kitchen builder/restaurateur friend, Andrea.  This is a favorite of Dad’s, especially because he’s become quite fond of polenta.  This is a warm, homey, comforting one-dish meal that seems especially perfect in the winter.  As with most of Andrea’s recipes that he taught us, this is deceptively simple and quick to make, but very delicious.  In the summer when I put zucchini in absolutely everything I make, I add some cubed zucchini and sauté it with the meat.  Very yummy.  Sliced fresh mushrooms would be very nice, too. "

An additional note: Andrea is also the creator of "Keegan's Rigatoni Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage", another delicious dish!

Four years ago: Paprika Shrimp Pasta


what you'll need:

for the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or crushed
1-2 Tbsp. good olive oil
1-1/2 lbs ground pork or sausage (I use bulk Italian sausage)
a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2-28 oz. cans of plain chopped tomatoes, undrained
1-1/4 cup sliced olives of your choosing (I like half pitted California olives, and half pimento stuffed green olives)
1 small zucchini, large diced or sliced mushrooms (optional)
freshly ground pepper, to taste
salt, to taste

for the polenta: 
6 cups water
1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1-1/2 cups polenta (or coarse-ground cornmeal)

to serve:
freshly grated, good-quality Parmesan cheese to serve

 In a saucepan or frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the garlic in a couple Tbsp. of olive oil until softened. Add pork or sausage, and cook, breaking up the large chunks until browned. 

Add crushed red pepper, tomatoes and olives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for half an hour or so. 

Meanwhile, make the polenta. In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Slowly pour the polenta in, stirring throughout. Allow to simmer, stirring very frequently with a wooden spoon, making sure you scrape the bottom - particularly as it starts to thicken to prevent the bottom from burning. 

The top picture is the polenta as it's getting close to being done, but not quite there. The bottom picture is when it's nice and thick and ready to eat!  

When the polenta is very thick, pour each serving into an individual dish (or a large serving bowl), top with red sauce, freshly grated Parmesan, and settle in for a cozy, comforting bowl of warmth. 

Four years ago: Paprika Shrimp Pasta

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