CNYEats Sausage and Polenta

by Joanne on March 20, 2011

This week, our book A Taste of Utica offers the recipe for Sausage and Polenta on page 111. 

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I’ve also include recipes from page 112 and 113 for sausage and polenta recipes. Take your pick. They all look good.

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Recipe 1:  Sausage and Polenta, page 111 by Sherry

  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 (7 oz) jars roasted red sweet peppers
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (or 1 TBS fresh chopped oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp basil (or 1 TBS fresh chopped basil)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 3/4 lb mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb sharp Fontina cheese

Boil water. Add cornmeal and simmer until thick (about 8 minutes).  Pour into a foil lined 13 x 9 pan.  Chill until set.

Puree the roasted peppers in a blender until smooth.  Add enough water to make 2 1/4 cups red pepper sauce. 

Sauté the onion for 4 minutes in about 1 TBS olive oil, over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, oregano and basil and continue to cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir constantly. Add the red pepper sauce.  Boil for 1 minute then remove sauce from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet with a little water (maybe 1/4 cup), cook the sausage until browned, about 8 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Now add the mushrooms to that skillet and cook for about 3 –4 minutes or until brown.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large glass baking dish, spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom. Cut the polenta into serving pieces and place into the glass dish. Over lap edges if needed.

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Place sausage on top of polenta. Add mushrooms on top sausage.  Pour on all the remaining sauce. Crumble the fontina over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until excess liquid is gone.*I baked it for another 10 minutes. There was liquid left but it was PERFECT! 

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Recipe 2:  Sausage, Peppers and Onions with Polenta, page 112, posted by Sherry

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  • 3 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 10 cups canned chicken broth
  • 2 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 green peppers, seeded and cut into strips
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 oz grated Parmesan cheese

Add the cornmeal to a large saucepan.  Stir in chicken broth, stir over low heat until mixture begins to boil.  Cover and simmer. Stir occasionally.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, fry sausage until brown and cooked.  Remove sausages and cool.  Pour off fatty drippings but retain about 1/4 of it.  Add olive oil to the retained drippings and sauté the garlic for 1 minute.  Add the green peppers and onion.  Stir over low heat until vegetables are tender (10 minutes to 15 minutes).  Cut sausage crosswise into pieces. Add the sausage to the vegetables along with the parsley.  Stir and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Season to taste. Keep hot.

Remove the cornmeal from heat. Stir in butter and 1/2 cup of cheese. Season to taste and pour into lightly oiled 2 quart mold. Let stand 10 minutes or until firm to touch.  Unmold carefully onto serving platter and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Memories by Bob Hovish…

I worked at Kewpees at Oneida Square while I was still going to UFA (Utica Free Academy) back in 1970.  I have been to Lima, OH twice in the last few years as they have  a Kewpee that is exactly the same as the one that used to be in Utica.  Now I have a brand new Kewpee wrapper framed in my computer room.  Gotta love that slogan “Hamburger-pickle-on-top-makes your heart go flippity-flop.”

Recipe 3:  Polenta with Sausage Gravy posted by Sherry, page 113

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  • 1 lb Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp pepper (omit, if using hot sausage)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium can tomatoes
  • 2 small cans tomato puree

Place sausage in large saucepan with 2 TBS water.  Prick sausage with fork and let brown in its own fat.  Add onion, garlic, and salt.  Brown a little longer.  Add tomatoes and tomato puree and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  You may want to drain some grease if there is too much from sausage.  When gravy is ready, use the following ..

  • 1 lb cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 qt boiling water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 TBS grated Romano cheese

Pour cornmeal slowly into the boiling water, salt and stir constantly with a wooden spoon.  Continue cooking and stirring 30 minutes or until cornmeal leaves sides of pan easily.  Pour cornmeal into large platter.  Pour gravy over it and place sausage around it.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve.  Serves 4  – 6.

The sausage and polenta was a huge hit.  We had visitors for dinner and everyone had second helpings.

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