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Monday, August 1, 2011

Dinner Tonight: Polenta Cakes with Sweet Sausage Ragu

For dinner tonight, I decided to use a few ingredients in my pantry to work off of. One of my favorite things to eat is polenta. Polenta is made from boiling yellow cornmeal. Polenta has been know as "peasant" food in Italy for centuries because of the relatively low cost of corn. Polenta is smooth and creamy and can absorb just about any sauce. Polenta also pairs nicely with cheeses. In addition to the prepared polenta I had on hand from Trader Joe's, I also had a few Italian sweet sausages. I used the polenta rounds as the base for my ragu by frying rounds in a bit of olive oil to crisp up. The finished product was super delicious and comforting. Here is the recipe: 

(Serves 3 with leftover sauce)
1 round of prepared polenta
3 saugage links 
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup store bought marinara sauce
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch basil, chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese
Garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, and thyme 

Heat large pot with olive oil and add onion over medium heat to sweat. In another pan, heat with olive oil over med/high heat. Thinly slice polenta into rounds and place in hot pan to crisp which takes about 5 minutes on each side. Add diced tomatoes into pot with the onions and simmer on low, adding marinara, basil and spices to your liking and simmer with the top on for 3 minutes. In another pan, add sausage broken up with your hand into bite sized pieces. Saute for 2 minutes and then add to ragu sauce and simmer until polenta has crisped. When plating, place 4 polenta rounds in shallow bowl spooning ragu sauce on top. Add parmesan cheese on top as well as a bit of basil for color and get to eat'n! 

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