I was staring at the freezer, pondering. The grocery store had Italian sausage on sale (again), and The Mister had bought a ton of it. He likes Italian sausage. A lot.
Me? I can take it or leave. And the idea of having sausage and peppers (again) … well, I wanted to leave it.
Thankfully, Melissa from I Was Born to Cook came unknowingly to my rescue. Her recipe for a Polenta Sausage Bake was both simple and different. It was also very filling. Served with a side salad and crusty bread, this dish could serve at least six people.
If you choose, you can prep this dish up to step 4 (leaving off the mozzarella slices), cover with a sheet of plastic, then tinfoil and freeze it. Then on the day you plan to serve it, thaw it in the fridge, add the mozzarella slices and continue to bake as directed in step 5.
Polenta Sausage Bake
Slightly adapted from I Was Born to Cook
- 1 lb hot or sweet (or both) Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, cut into thin slices
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups tomato sauce (purchased or homemade)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tube polenta, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
- 5 or 6 ½-inch-thick mozzarella slices
- Grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread about a quarter of a cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9-inch round porcelain baking dish.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the sausage to the pan and cook until the meat begins to brown. Add the onions and the mushrooms to the skillet, and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low, and add the remaining tomato sauce to the skillet and simmer for five minutes.
- Place half the polenta slices in a single layer over the sauce in the baking dish. Spoon the sausage mixture into the baking dish, then arrange the remaining polenta slices over top. Place the mozzarella slices over the top layer of polenta.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the grated pecorino or parmesan over the top and bake for another five minutes.