Sunday, 12 May 2013

Braised Italian Sausages with Soft Polenta

Another Olive recipe, and one that reminded me how blimming lovely soft polenta is and how I really should eat more of it. Massive bowlfuls of it. One thing it is worth mentioning though is that while you must prepare yourself for Vesuvius sized volcanic eruptions while cooking it (see pic below: made me laugh), you should also prepare yourself for a washing up nightmare of similar proportions unless you get that polenta pan full of water and soaking as soon as you finish with it. I’m not sure why but polenta will set like cement given half a chance. You have been warned.

Feel free to use any sort of herby sausage to make this - obviously squat fat Italian sausages would be the best if you can get hold of them. And if you can, lucky you! I used Toulouse as the smell of them in the supermarket was irresistible, even through the packaging.

This post also marks the laziest of ingredients photos, where I haven’t even taken anything out of the packaging, let alone done any mise en place before snapping away.

Braised Italian Sausages with Soft Polenta
serves 2

1 tsp olive oil
6 sausages
3 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ glass red wine
few sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
small tin chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
100g instant polenta
25g butter
25g parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and brown the sausages all over then set aside.

Add the bacon to the pan and fry until crisp. Scoop out and set aside with the sausages.

Add the onions to the pan and cook fairly gently until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute or so more.

Turn up the heat a little then add the red wine and cook until reduced by about half before adding the sausages and bacon back in.

Tip in the tomatoes and add the rosemary and 100ml of the chicken stock.

Simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and the sausages are cooked through.

Make up the polenta, following the package instructions but using the remaining 400ml of chicken stock instead of water.

Beat in the butter and cheese.

Divide between two plates or wide bowls topped with the sausages and sauce.

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