Featured Recipe: Spicy Sausage Ragu & Basil Polenta

This is hands down the recipe I get asked for the most.  It’s a thick, hearty ragu that works on top of some many things – pasta, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles…  If you don’t mind standing in front of the stove and stirring for a few minutes, polenta is a delicious accompaniment.

INGREDIENTS:

SAUCE:

1 Tbsp EVOO

1lbs spicy sausage (turkey sausage tastes just as good in this if you want a lower calorie version)

1 onion, chopped

4-6oz mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 cans Italian diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

2-3 Tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 cups spinach, chopped

POLENTA:

3 cups water

2 cups milk or chicken broth

1 cup corn meal

1 tsp basil

1 tsp salt

polenta-1

HOW TO DO IT:

Sauce: In a large sauce pot, heat 1 tbsp of EVOO over medium.  Once hot, add chopped onion and mushrooms and sprinkle with salt.  Sweat the veggies until onion is translucent and mushrooms start to soften (about 3 mins).  Add sausage, breaking apart with spoon and cook until fully browned (about 7 mins).  Drain the grease and return to pot.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 secs).  Add diced tomatoes, sauce, paste, and spices/salt and pepper. Stir in spinach.  Simmer 15 – 20 mins over low heat.

Polenta:  In a medium sauce pot, combine 3 cups water, 2 cups milk or chicken broth, salt, and basil and bring to a boil.

Be careful that the milk does not boil over.  Once boiling, turn heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in cornmeal. Stir frequently until polenta thickens (about 15 mins).

Serve hot with fresh basil and grated parmesan and prepare to have your mind blown!

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