I need to hone my polenta skills. MrsReno and MrsHouse Of warned me. I followed the instructions to a T, but my polenta went right past creamy to lumpy. I eschewed the already prepared and the instant and went for the old fashioned polenta, the kind where you stir rigorously for 20 minutes. I need to make some more tomorrow and get it right. It still tasted OK, but wasn't creamy and sumptuous.
The ragu, on the other hand, was delicious. I was very pleased and I had some for my tea with rice as well. It would be better with mashed potatoes if you don't want to have polenta, and the potatoes could boil while the ragu cooks. I had to juggle the polenta's continuous stirring with the ragu.
The sausages need to be spicy Italian or the equivalent. This was a Woolworths recipe from their May Fresh magazine* and I bought the sausages they suggested.
Sausage Ragu with Polenta serves 4
- 1 tbspn olive oil
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stick of celery, diced
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 420g Beef and Pork Italian sausages, skin removed
- 700g bottle of passata
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 cup plain polenta cooked according to packet and add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 20g butter, or mashed potatoes, or rice
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and saute the carrot, celery and onion for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it and stirring frequently. The vegetables should be nicely softened.
Prepare the sausages by making a cut lengthwise just through the skin with a sharp knife and then peeling the skin off. Break the sausage meat into small meatball portions, the ones I made were the size of a walnut shell. I made 5 or 6 from each sausage. Add the sausage meat to the pan and continue to cook for a further 8 minutes, again stirring as needed. The meat will brown all over and the vegetables will be tender.
Pour in the passata and the water, turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Cook the polenta now, if it is the old-fashioned kind, or set the potatoes or rice to cook.
Cook the instant polenta closer to serving time.
When the ragu is ready, chop most of the basil leaves and stir through. Save a few leaves for garnishing if you wish.
Serve the ragu with the polenta, basil leaves and some extra grated Parmesan leaves.
* The May issue wasn't there when I made the link. I expect it will be there anon.