Monday, April 22, 2013

Turkey Sausage and Spinach Ragu over Parmesan Polenta

I recently discovered a food blog call Eat.Drink.Smile.  The blog post for that particular day was regarding the sad state of hunger in America, and the new documentary film "A Place at the Table: A Call to Action" that was just released.  The recipe on that day's post was focused on a simple, healthy, and inexpensive dish for a typical family of four - turkey sausage and spinach ragu on parmesan polenta.  Sounded tempting, and last night we made the dish.  It is delicious!  We like to make this type of dish, but would typically put the ragu on top of pasta (which would also be good). But the variation of using polenta as the base was a good change, and something we will repeat from now on! I put ALOT of cheese in the polenta, probably 1-1/2 cups vs the 1 cup in the recipe.  Can't have too much cheese (except it does make it a little less healthy).  We served it with sliced French bread drizzled with EVOO, salt, and pepper, and put under the broiler for a couple of minutes until brown.

As promised, this was a very easy dish to make, I had everything on hand already except the polenta (I do have grits, could have used those instead).  I started the polenta first becuase I bought Red Mills regular yellow corn polenta, and not the instant kind. Cooking time for the regular variety was 30 minutes, which worked out perfectly with the rest of the dish.  While the polenta was cooking, we chopped, cooked the sausage, sauteed the onions (and I added a shallot I had on hand), and simmered the ragu.

Recipe, copied from Eat.Drink.Smile website:

turkey sausage and spinach ragù on parmesan polenta


3 (4-ounce) links sweet turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
2 1/3 cups water, divided
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup instant polenta
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; sauté for 8-10 minutes, until no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan; drain all but about 1 tablespoon of liquid. Return to medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in sausage, marinara, and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. With about 3 minutes remaining, add chopped spinach to the ragu. Stir to combine.
Bring remaining 2 cups water and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat to low. Gradually add polenta, and cook for 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Serve with sausage mixture.

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