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Hot Sausage & Tomatoes Over Fried Polenta

I swear to you this is not turning into an Italian food blog.  However, if you've checked out several of my recent recipes (including this one!), you may beg to differ.  I may also have another Italian recipe coming soon...I can't help it!  On a positive note, I think this would qualify as a "Fall recipe".  So there's that.  I've been trying to cook things that would be easy for me to take to work for lunch (welcome to that brown-bagging-it life) and Italian food is just calling my name.  I'm going to have an intervention with myself though.  For the sake of the blog and my desire to eat (and cook!) other cuisines.

In the meantime, I played around with some polenta for you!  Here's a tip: if your polenta comes packaged in water like mine did, drain it and pat that polenta dry!  Otherwise, you might also be like me and stand around waiting for your polenta to crisp up in the pan.  Waiting.  And waiting.  Forever.  And your "quick weeknight dinner" turns into a midnight mass.   Don't be like me.  Pat your polenta dry!

In other (quick!) news, I'm enjoying my new job so far!  I had my first commute in undesirable weather, but it's nothing I can't bounce back from.  It does, however, take some of the fun out of commuting.  OK, that's all on the life update front.  Let's get into this recipe!


Hot Sausage & Tomatoes Over Fried Polenta
very slightly adapted from Willowbird Baking

Print Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 links hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 heaping tablespoons sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil + more for serving
  • 1 tube cooked polenta, sliced and patted dry
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1) Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage to the pan and break it up into smaller chunks.

2) Toss in the onions and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.

3) Add in the tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, sundried tomatoes, and wine.  If necessary, scrape any sausage bits off the bottom of the pan.

4) Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer.  Allow the mixture to cook for 15 minutes, stirring periodically.

5) In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the polenta slices.  Fry the polenta on one side until golden brown.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and then flip over to fry the other side.  When they are almost done, top the polenta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

6) When the tomato mixture is done cooking, stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese.  Allow the mixture to simmer for another 5 minutes.

7) Plate the polenta.  Top with the sausage and tomatoes.  Sprinkle the extra basil and Parmesan over entire dish. Serve immediately.