Monday, February 1, 2010

(21) Parmesan Polenta with Sausage and Mushrooms

I need to get something off my chest before I review this recipe. Dear Cooking Light - what the hell kind of recipe serves FIVE?!? Weird. At the suggested serving sizes, I got 4 servings of polenta and 5 servings of sausage, which is fine because the baby will love the sausage serving. Ok, vent over.

This is a solid, quick, weeknight meal. I had it on the table in 30 minutes and there was little to no chopping, which is always a bonus!! I think this meal has potential, too. I think it would be great with some caramelized onions and a little fresh garlic in with the tomatoes. I also should have used fresh basil, but we're budget cooking this week, so dried had to do (it was fine!). I added a touch of red pepper flakes because I only had sweet Italian sausages in my freezer.

The polenta was delish (I used regular old cornmeal, not 'instant polenta') and a beautiful soft contrast to the sausage and mushrooms. My only suggestion to you is to slowly add the cornmeal to the water and whisk while you're doing it. Otherwise you'll end up like a few clumps. I speak from experience here, I promise!

Parmesan Polenta with Sausage and Mushrooms

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, October 2000
5 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup sauce and 3/4 cup polenta)

3 (3-ounce) links hot turkey Italian sausage
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups water
1 cup instant polenta (such as Contadina)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pierce sausages; cut each diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Add the wine and mushrooms; cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove sausage from pan. Cook the mushroom mixture over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in the basil and tomatoes; cook 1 minute or until heated. Return sausage to pan; keep warm.

While sauce is simmering, prepare polenta. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in polenta, garlic powder, sugar, and salt. Reduce heat to low; cook until thick (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in cheese. Serve with sausage mixture.

CALORIES 288 (30% from fat); FAT 9.5g (sat 3.3g,mono 3.6g,poly 2.4g); IRON 2.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 58mg; CALCIUM 95mg; CARBOHYDRATE 35.1g; SODIUM 689mg; PROTEIN 18.2g; FIBER 1.6g

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