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Polenta always sounds great when you see it on a restaurant menu. But can you really make it at home? Today’s Frugal Family Feast is an easy and affordable recipe for creamy Italian polenta with sausage and peppers.
Polenta is a versatile vehicle for just about anything you want to add. The rich and creamy texture goes well with meat or vegetables or both. Chef David’s recipe makes a huge portion, enough to feed six hungry people and have leftovers for less than $15.
Polenta is made from ground cornmeal that’s cooked in liquid until it has the consistency of porridge. Chef David heats milk until almost boiling, turns down the heat and adds the ground cornmeal. He stirs frequently as it cooks, using a whisk, until the mixture looks like pourable oatmeal.
Leftover polenta will firm up and can be sliced for frying or you can get the creamy consistency back by adding water or milk and stirring while warming.
Creamy Italian polenta with sausage and peppers – courtesy of Chef David Rosov
- 4 sweet Italian sausage links.
- 12 ounces coarse cornmeal.
- 8 ounces fresh-cut corn (about one ear).
- 1 quart milk (whole or 2 percent works best).
- 1 yellow bell pepper.
- 1 red bell pepper.
- 1 sweet yellow onion.
- 4 ounces heavy cream.
- 1 ounce olive oil.
- 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese.
- 2 ounces butter.
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary.
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley.
To prepare polenta:
- Grill an ear of corn. Let it cool and remove the kernels from the cob.
- Place milk in a quart-sized saucepan and gently bring to just below boiling or 180 degrees.
- Whisk in cornmeal and reduce heat to low, stirring continuously until it thickens to oatmeal consistency.
- Add corn, cream and cheese and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat off and reserve on stove.
To prepare sausage and peppers:
- Saute thinly sliced onions and bell peppers in a skillet on medium heat in olive oil and butter until they are caramelized.
- Add 1 tablespoon water and chopped rosemary. Cover pan, turn off heat and set aside.
- In a hot skillet, brown sausages on all sides. Place in a 200-degree oven to keep warm while you finish the rest of the dish.
- Check consistency of polenta. Add cream or water if the mixture has gotten too thick, and stir over low heat. You want a pourable consistency similar to oatmeal.
- Place polenta in a serving dish. Place pepper and onion mixture and sausage on top.
- Finish by sprinkling chopped Italian parsley on top.
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