Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Polenta with Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce

I knew when I looked at the list of ingredients for this meal, it was going to be my husband’s kind of meal.  The spiciness from the sausage paired against the creaminess of the polenta, it was sure to be a hit.  (I was right, he loved it!)

Polenta with Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce

Double Boiler Polenta

4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup medium-grind cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter

Bring about 2 inches of water to boil in bottom of double boiler; reduce to simmer and maintain throughout cooking process.

Set top of double boiler over simmering water, add 4 cups boiling water.  Add salt, and then gradually sprinkle cornmeal into water, whisking constantly to prevent lump formation.

Cover and cook until polenta is very soft and smooth, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring several seconds every 10 to 15 minutes.  Before serving, add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the polenta and stir until melted.  (Once cooked, polenta can be covered and set aside at room temperature for up to 4 hours.  Reheat over simmering water, stirring in a little water if polenta has become too thick.) 

*I don't own a double boiler so I set the saucepan that holds the polenta on an ovenproof ramekin, inside a wider, deeper pot and surround it by simmering water (I found this tip on orangette and it works great). 

Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce

1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 can (14.5-ounce) petit diced tomatoes
Salt and ground black pepper

Heat a large sauté pan over.  Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring to crumble.  Once the sausage is cooked, add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and their juices; simmer gently until sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over soft polenta with a dusting of parmesan cheese.

Adapted from The Best Recipe by the editors of Cooks Illustrated Magazine

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