Sausage Ragu Over Creamy Polenta

Turkey sausage and bottled marinara combine for a healthy quick, and affordable twist on this Italian classic. Serve with a romaine salad tossed with red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Yield: 4     (serving size: 3/4 cup polenta + 1/2 cup sausage mixture + 1 tbsp. parsley)

3 (4 oz.) links sweet turkey Italian sausage, casings removed

1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce or pasta sauce

2 1/3 cups water, divided

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup instant polenta or 1 cup non-instant

1 tbsp. butter or margaine

1 oz. fresh pecorino Romano cheese, grated

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. To Prepare Ragu – Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; saute for 6 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan; drain. Wipe pan clean; return to medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl. Add onion and bell pepper, saute 4 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Stir in sausage, marinara, and 1/3 cup water; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes.
  2. To Prepare Polenta – bring remaining 2 cups water and milk to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to low. Gradually add polenta, and cook for 3 minutes (if using non-instant cook 30 minutes), or until thick, stirring constantly, to prevent sticking. Remove from heat; stir in butter,cheese and pepper. Grease a deep medium sized bowl or dish, spoon polenta into bowl and press flat; let stand about 5 minutes or until set. Invert onto a flat plate or cut into (4) sections in dish. Serve with sausage mixture; top with parsley.

Based on recipe from Cooking Light magazine, January 2012


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