Very rustic Italian dinner you can whip up in 30 mins. Don't fear polenta- it's easy! But if you are worried or super strapped for time you can pick up some quick cooking polenta. Picture isn't that great, but it was really tasty- especially the sauce.
All these items you can have in your freezer and pantry. That's why it is a great recipe to have in your back pocket in a jam- you can even substitute any other meat (like chicken) or even just add more beans for a vegetarian version. Sometimes I like to throw in a handful or two of frozen peas in the polenta.
- 1 lb of sausage (or meat) I used hot Italian sausage
- 1 (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- basil, fresh if you have
- Heat a sauce pot to medium high
- Add the sausage to the pot (I sliced mine into smaller pieces- this is just preference).
- Brown on both sides quickly.
- Then add the garlic, heat about one minute
- Add the tomatoes
- Fill the tomato can half way up with water and add to the pot (just eyeball it)
- Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and partially cover. Stirring occasionally.
- Cook for about 30mins (you don't have to cook that long- just make sure the sausage are cooked all the way through!)
- Before serving season with salt, pepper and basil to taste.
If you have canned beans- wonderful! Use two cans of cannellini beans- just open the can, drain and rinse. Top the polenta with the beans and pour hot sauce over them
If you have dry beans- you had to soak overnight, then take about 2 cups and just cover with water. Then add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil and simmer for 30 mins (or until polenta and sauce is done). Taste a couple beans to see if they are done. Then drain and rinse quick.
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- pinch of the following spices: onion powder, oregano, red pepper
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
- In a pot add the water and salt. Bring to a boil.
- When the water is bowling grab a whisk and super slowly add the cornmeal a little at a time, whisking consistently. This process is called "raining in" because you are adding like a light rain shower basically.
- Stir, stir, stir until it comes together- will look like grits or grainy mashed potatoes almost. When it comes together swap your whisk for a wooden spoon (wooden is traditional). Reduce heat to low and you need to stir pretty constantly (this helps break down the starches and make it yummy). I don't but stir every couple minutes so the bottom doesn't burn.
- Be careful because the polenta will turn thick and bubble and splatter a bit. So just keep an eye out. I cook for 30 minutes until smooth and creamy and it doesn't taste bitter anymore. Should taste sweet and a touch grainy.
- Right before you serve stir in your cheese.
Assembly: Polenta, top with beans, top with sausage sauce, and finally some extra parm cheese!