Friday, 13 May 2011

Friday’s Dinner ~ Spicy Italian Sausage & Polenta

Woke up early enough to make dinner, ready for my husband to heat up for dinner tonight. It is quite easy to make too! I used Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits (or Polenta), which is a coarser ground corn than the cornmeal you can readily buy in Canada.  It really makes a difference in the final product!

Here is what I used:

3 cups water
garlic salt
Cajun spice mix
handful of dried peppers (red & yellow)
1 cup of grits
2 tbsp margarine
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 lb of spicy italian sausage meat (I took the casings off some sausage links)
1 cup of roasted garlic and pepper pasta sauce (reserved the rest of the sauce from the jar for serving on top at the table)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup old cheddar cheese (you could use anything, mozzarella would be more appropriate)
Bring water to boil, season with garlic salt and spices, slowly stir in polenta and dried peppers. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 5 minutes.  I cooked my mixture on low for a total of 15 minutes. You have to be careful as the polenta can really burst bubbles when it is so thick!  You want to cook it until your wooden spoon will stand up in the mixture. Blend in margarine (or butter), and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
Divide the polenta equally into 6 large muffin cups that have been sprayed with oil spray.  Allow to rest (they will become firm and hold their shape as soon as they cool)
Fry the sausage, breaking it up into large chunks. Cook thoroughly. Add approximately 1 cup of pasta sauce, and simmer until thick (reduce by 1/3 to 1/2) .
Spray a 2 quart casserole bowl with oil.  Arrange the polenta “cakes” in it, and spoon the sausage mixture overtop.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
Cool, cover and refrigerate.  Reheat in a 350 deg. Fahrenheit oven for approx 3/4 hour, or until hot and bubbly.  You can reheat 1/2 of the time covered (safer than drying things out IMHO).  Heat remaining sauce and serve alongside.
I’m really looking forward to dinner tonight!  I think the only thing that would make this better would be to have it loads of roasted garlic with toast along with a Caesar salad.

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