Monday, March 10, 2014

Polenta with Butternut Squash, Sausage and Caramelized Onions


When it comes to grains and flours, I usually keep a fairly well stocked pantry.  So, barley, bulgar wheat, farro and quinoa are usually on hand right next to the white flour, whole wheat flour and cornmeal.  But when I'm planning my dinners, I sometimes forget to shop in my own pantry.  The cornmeal, for example, has been sitting there lonely and unused except for the occasional urge for cornbread.  When I'm in a restaurant, a dish of polenta always sounds so appealing so there was really no excuse for the canister of cornmeal not to be shown a little more respect

I picked up some good turkey sausage the other day and I thought that creamy polenta and sweet squash would be the perfect compliment to the slight heat and fennel bite of the sausage.  The result was a comfort-food style dish that I'll definitely be making again.  Enjoy!




Ingredients
1 Cup cornmeal
4 1/2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Links of your favorite sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1 Onion, peeled and sliced
2 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 lb. Butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt & pepper to taste

Start by placing the squash pieces in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are tender.  Set aside.

Add one tablespoon of the olive oil to a large skillet or cast iron pan and, on medium high heat, cook the sausage for about 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.  Remove the sausage from the pan, add the remaining olive oil along with the onions.  Cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized.  Add the garlic, squash and thyme to the pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the squash is also lightly caramelized.  Slice the sausage and return it to the pan to warm up.  Season to taste.

While the onions are cooking, add the cornmeal and water to a pot and cook on medium low heat, whisking frequently for about 15 minutes or until its reached the consistency you like.  Stir in the butter and season with salt.  Spoon the polenta into serving bowls and top with the sausage, onion, squash mixture.  Makes approximately 4 servings.

6 comments:

  1. I finally found polenta in the market the other day. I'm not sure why none of the grocery stores carry it, but I'm happy I finally found some. This needs to happen. Pinned.

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  2. This looks FAHHHbulous! I have some precooked mushroom and garlic polenta in the fridge. You know, the kind that comes in a roll...
    I wonder if there's a way to thin it out, because I'd love to add your ingredients to it. YUM!

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  3. Oh yes! Comfort food for sure. I'll take two bowls please and thank you.

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  4. What a beautiful dish, Anita! I love all the caramelized bits of the squash and sausage sitting in that bowl of creamy polenta. I could dig my spoon right in!

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  5. This is very nice. I ignored making polenta for the longest time too and when I finally did start to make it, it was eye opening. So easy and you can pile just about anything on top of it.

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