Last week, when basically everything happened that shouldn't, I found myself sitting at the tire store getting my tire patched and flipping through Sunset Magazine. Now I have to admit, Sunset is not normally a magazine that I purchase, however while sitting there, begging my son to wait patiently in his chair, I realized it's a lovely magazine. Recipes, cleaning tips, gardening advice. I must be getting old because these are the things that excite me now.
So as I was flipping through the magazine, and explaining to Hudson why we were NOT going to eat the stale bright yellow free popcorn that they offer, I ran across an article on quick comfort food. Parmesan polenta (which we love and often times serve with roasted chicken instead of mashed potatoes), with a quick ragu. I immediately took a picture of the recipe (which again, is another thing I do, it's seems better then tearing out a page of somebody elses magazine) and made it for dinner that night. Because comfort food is what you need after a day of spending money on things you absolutely don't want to spend money on.
We have made this twice in the last week. It is even better the next day. Second time I made it, I opted out of the meat and tried it with eggplant and mushrooms. Delicious as well.
So if you find yourself needing something warm and comforting, make this, it takes 30-35 minutes max. Feeds the household, and almost for a few minutes takes away your problems.
Parmesan Polenta with Pork Ragu
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. pork sausage (I like to use links and then squeeze out quick meatballs, or you can use ground)
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup cornmeal or polenta
4 cups water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons butter
In a medium size pot, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly pour the polenta into the boiling water, gently whisking constantly. Turn down the heat to low and continue to whisk for 1 minute. Cover the pot and cook for 30-35 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, whisky the polenta, scraping the bottom and corners of the pot. When the polenta has reached the thickness that you desire, add the butter and cheese. Stir to combine.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook pork sausage (either ground or formed into small meatballs) until browned. Add onion, garlic, oregano, rosemary, chile flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stirring occasionally until the onions have softened. Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and simmer until thickened about 15-20 minutes.
Serve polenta topped with pork ragu, more parmesan cheese and additional fresh herbs. A big piece of bread is good too!