Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Italian Sausage with Spinach and Tomatoes on a Bed of Polenta

If you still have leftover tomatoes and spinach and sausage and corn meal (i.e. all the ingredients from the squash), you will have to make this:

I have made this twice in the last week because a) I had all the ingredients and b) it is the fastest fancy meal you can make for yourself;  it probably takes about 15 minutes to make.  Polenta is, in fact, fairly simple by Italian standards I believe (or so my dad, who is 2nd generation "Italian" and therefore sometimes embarrassingly proud of it, tells us), but it is still very good.  If you want to make a little extra, you can put it in a small dish, cover it with plastic wrap, refrigerate it over night, and then slice it and fry it tomorrow and top with sausage, marinara, and goat cheese, for yet another easy dinner.

For this specific recipe, however, you can dress up the sausage, tomato, and spinach mixture by adding some more Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  If you have good Italian sausage and the seasoned tomatoes, though, it should be sufficiently flavorful.

1 Italian sausage link (like Johnsonville mild or sweet)
1 handful spinach
¼ cup canned diced tomatoes (e.g. Del Monte Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, & Oregano)
Dash Italian Seasoning (I like Urzi's Bread Dipping Spice... I add it to everything Italian)
¼ cup yellow cornmeal (Quaker is high enough quality)
1 cup water
 teaspoon salt
~ 1 tablespoon butter
~ ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Start by cooking the sausage in a small skillet.
  2. Meanwhile, put ¾ cup of water into a small saucepan to boil.  Mix the other ¼ cup of water with the cornmeal and salt.
  3. When the water is boiling, add the cornmeal-salt-water mixture, and stir for a few minutes until thick.  When the mixture becomes thick, add a small pat of butter and some grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. When the sausage is done cooking, add the tomatoes, spinach, and Italian Seasoning and cook until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Serve by spreading the polenta on the plate, topping it with the spinach-tomato-sausage mixture and sprinkling grated Parmesan cheese on top.
  6. Enjoy!

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