Delicious and comforting-polenta is an underappreciated side dish. Besides the fact that it costs just pennies per serving! It’s also a cinch to make and contrary to what you may have heard, it doesn’t need constant attention or stirring or an expensive brand of Italian cornmeal, just the one you find at your local supermarket.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces sweet or hot Italian pork sausage links
2 large bell peppers, (about 8 ounces), thinly sliced
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, if desired
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages and cook, covered, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 12 minutes. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon to a cutting board.
- Add peppers and onions to same skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until tender, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice sausages into 1-inch wide pieces and set aside.
- Add garlic to skillet with peppers and onions and cook 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add sliced sausage and any juices from cutting board and ½ cup water to skillet and bring to a simmer, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.
- Bring water and salt to a boil over high heat in a large covered, preferably nonstick saucepan.
- Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and tender, about 5 minutes.
- Remove polenta from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese and butter. Spoon onto plates and top with sausage and pepper mixture. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
Use whichever bell peppers are the best buy at the moment or substitute lower priced Cubanelle (Italian frying peppers). You’ll need 3 large ones.