Perfect Polenta

0161Why: When we were in Middleburg, VA a few months ago, I picked up some Wades Mill (Raphine, VA) polenta. No less than two employees at Home Farm declared this polenta to be delicious, so I’ve been wanting to try it ever since. The nettles woman was also selling spinach this week, so that was the beginning of the ragout to top the polenta.

What: Spinach, cherry tomatoes, and chipotle sausage simmered in stock and ladeled over bowls of creamy polenta.

Complications: None, really. There was no recipe, so nothing to modify. I tried a new way of cooking the polenta in the oven, but I would hardly call that a complication.

Result: I don’t even know how this became so delicious… it could have been the superior polenta. This is also our favorite kind of Cibola sausage. Somehow, everything came together just right. It was so perfect, that I can’t wait for another polenta night!

My rough memory of a recipe after the jump…Perfect Polenta with Spinach, Sausage, and Grape Tomatoes

For the polenta:
Combine 1 c polenta (coarse ground cornmeal) with 3 and 3/4 c water and 1 ts kosher salt. Bring to boil, and place (uncovered) in a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes. Stir at the 30 and 40 minute marks. Beat with a whisk if lumpy.

For ragout:
2 tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, slivered
Pinch of RPF (red pepper flakes)
1/2 c baby bellas, sliced
2 sausage links pre-cooked and sliced
4 c spinach
1/2 c – 3/4 c stock (veggie or chicken)
3/4 c grape tomatoes, cut in half

Saute garlic slivers in oil very slowly so that the garlic browns gently and the oil aborbs the flavors. Add mushrooms and RPF and cook for a few minutes. Add sausage slices to reheat. Things are probably sticking to the bottom of the pan at this point, so pour on some stock and scrape the browned bits up. Add the spinach and saute/steam until wilted. Mix in the tomatoes and then pour in the rest of the stock and let simmer gently for a couple minutes. If needed, season with kosher salt and pepper.

To serve, scoop some polenta into warm bowls. Ladel ragout over the polenta. I topped mine with finely grated parmesan cheese.


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