sausage, zucchini & tomatoes with creamy polenta

Happy Wine Night!
I have a new favorite recipe to share with you guys.
It is so insanely delicious I might just eat it every Thursday for Wine Night.

I came up with this based on what we had in the fridge last week.
I forgot to buy pasta for what I was originally planning to make, 
but I knew I had a big bag of corn meal in the cabinet so polenta it was.
I also had a zucchini in the fridge that was just about to become overripe, 
a non-issue when you plan to saute vegetables.

For some reason, polenta reminds me of Mark Bittman. 
Probably because of this
I went on the New York Times site to search for one of his recipes to use.
I, instead, came across this one from Marian Burros.
It was exactly what I was looking for.

I was so happy with the outcome.
The white wine and tomatoes give it a nice depth of flavor and good acid kick to accompany the spicy sausage, earthy zucchini and rich polenta.

You should most definitely make this for your Wine Night tonight!

Sausage, Zucchini & Tomatoes with Creamy Polenta
Adapted from:  New York Times
Serves:  4

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 hot Italian sausage links (about 10 oz.), casings removed and crumbled.  {Note:  I used pork for this recipe (and for nutritional info) but you could use chicken or turkey sausage easily for way fewer cals. I like the porky-ness with the polenta though. Such a classic combo}
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes and their liquid
  • 2 teaspoons. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 ¼ cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • ½ cup stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Greek yogurt / cream cheese / crème freaiche (this is optional but totally makes the polenta creamier and better – I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese for my nutritional info below)

  1. Separately, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add onion and sauté 5 minutes, until begins to soften.
  3. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add sausage and stir to combine and brown.  Cook five minutes until almost fully cooked.
  5. Add zucchini, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, sugar and tomato paste.  Cook one minute to combine the flavors.
  6. Add wine and bring almost to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let the sauce hang out over medium-low heat while you cook the polenta.
  7. In a medium sauce pan, heat chicken stock to boiling.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and very slowly whisk in cornmeal.  Whisk constantly (I switched to a spoon about half way through once it got thicker) and cook until mixture thickens to a soft mush, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and cream cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve in shallow bowls with a scoop of polenta topped with the zucchini and sausage sauce.

  • Calories:  378
  • Carbs:  29
  • Fat:  20
  • Protein:  20


P.S. This would also be a delicious vegetarian dish - just use vegetable stock and leave out the sausage.

{photo by me}
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