Italian peasant food becomes an elegant winter dish in this Browned Butter Polenta With Sausage & Mushroom Ragù. That browned butter polenta is AMAZING! I don’t know that I ever want to make polenta any other way. It’s so rich and flavorful it could totally be a meal in itself, but the fragrant ragù is the perfect topper. And don’t even get me started on how fabulous the crisped sage leaves are.
Browned Butter Polenta With Sausage & Mushroom Ragù
1 cup loosely packed dried porcini mushrooms (I used dried shiitake since I had them on hand)
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage with fennel, bulk or cut from casing
3/4 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes, crushed with your hands
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
12 fresh sage leaves
2 cups whole milk
1 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly grated or ground nutmeg, to taste
1. In a small saucepan, bring the dried mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a work surface. Coarsely chop and reserve the liquid.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up with a spoon, until browned. Transfer sausage to a bowl.
3. Add the cremini mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, onion, celery, rosemary, garlic, bay leaf, sausage and chopped reconstituted mushrooms. Pour in the reserved mushroom liquid, leaving behind any grit. Simmer, stirring often, until the ragu thickens, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf then season with salt and pepper.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage and cook until it is crispy and the butter browns, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage to a paper towel to drain. Reserve the brown butter.
5. In a medium pot, bring the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock and the milk to a slow boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook, stirring often, until thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg and brown butter. Season to taste with black pepper.
6. Line shallow bowls with the polenta and make a well. Fill with ragu. Garnish with the sage.
Recipe from Rachael Ray
Well this is awfully cheerful for a ‘she left me’ song.
“Leila” is new cool electro-funk from Melbourne-based band Miami Horror.
Check out Miami Horror on the band’s Website where you can learn of upcoming shows in Australia and buy their music.