Thursday, October 17, 2013

Polenta and Peas with Pork Sausage

Do you sometimes wish you could hear what everyone's planning to make for dinner that night around 3:30 p.m.? That's when I get a twitchy feeling, trying to weigh what I'm in the mood for against what I actually have in the house. This dinner sharing fantasy involves a Twitter hashtag, maybe with a quick link to a recipe. Reminders about all those good dinners you sometimes forget about - pasta with cauliflower and breadcrumbs, scalloped potatoes and ham, tacos with black beans and kale. Wouldn't that be great?

Anyways, I'm giving you a loose recipe below, but you could certainly come up with something good based on the title alone. I've had this in my "to make" cue for more than six months, and I finally got around to creating a lazy weeknight version of it. To adapt it for a much speedier cooking time, you obviously need to skip the homemade sausage. I used a few sweet Italian sausages that I just removed from their casing.

I made real polenta - as opposed to instant, which would certainly speed this up further - but I always use the oven baked method. To do that, you combine 1 cup cornmeal with 4 cups of water, plus a big pinch of salt. Sometimes I add dried rosemary if I'm feeling fancy/have some on hand. Bake that at 325 for an hour, topping it with a few pats of butter at the end. Very creamy, very easy polenta every time, without the arm workout.

Polenta and Peas with Pork Sausage
Adapted from Food52

You will need: 

Polenta (see above)
3-4 sweet Italian sausages, casing removed
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
2 carrots, small dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock, or water
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Chopped parsley

Get your polenta going right away (if not using instant) because that takes about an hour. About 40 minutes into cooking the polenta, heat a cast iron skillet to medium and add a glug of olive oil. Brown the sausage pieces then remove from pan. Turn down the heat slightly then add the onions, garlic, and carrots and gently cook until soft. Pour in the wine and then add the stock or water once the wine has reduced by half. Add the sausage and peas to the pan, and heat until the peas are cooked. Grate in the Parmesan cheese, and serve over polenta. Sprinkle parsley on top.


  1. Wait, wait, wait! I've made another Martha recipe involving pasta and cauliflower...and it's delish. Your adapted recipe looks so yummy, too!

  2. Julie, you are the awesome-est. I remember seeing that recipe on Food52 and thinking, "this looks great, but homemade sausage? Nope"...and never thinking of just subbing in store-bought. Thanks for the light-bulb moment! xo

  3. YES. It would be great! I love love love it when people ask what twitter is making for dinner, and that's one of my favorite topics of conversation with coworkers.

    I'm adding this polenta to my "to-cook"queue- it looks delicious!


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