8 ounces Italian sausage links
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced (about 8 cups)
1 1/2 cups tomato-based pasta sauce (any variety)
3/4 cup instant polenta
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Thinly sliced fresh basil leaves for garnish, if desired


1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, combine sausages and 2 tablespoons water. Cook and stir until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes; remove sausages and drain on paper towels. Drain grease from pan.
2. To skillet, add olive oil; heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until lightly browned and liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Cut sausage in 1/4-inch slices; add to skillet with pasta sauce and water as needed to thin sauce. Simmer until hot, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, in a large microwaveable bowl, combine polenta and 1 1/2 cups water; whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in 2 cups water, salt and pepper until smooth. Microwave on High for 4 minutes. Whisk until mixture is well blended; microwave until cooked, about 4 minutes longer. Serve mushroom and sausage ragout over polenta. Garnish with thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, if desired.
For polenta with a creamy texture, substitute 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 cups chicken broth for the water; omit salt.
Mushroom and Sausage Rago
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