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Italian Sausage with Arrabbiata Sauce and Polenta

Italian Sausage with Arrabbiata Sauce and Polenta
An Italian specialty, polenta is made from ground cornmeal and cooked in water or stock until it thickens and the grains become tender. Here, it is enriched with butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, in the Italian style, and forms a delicious base for sausages simmered in a spicy sauce. When cooking the polenta, be sure to stir it continuously to prevent lumps from forming.

If you're pressed for time, you may use instant polenta. Prepare it according to the package instructions and stir in the butter and cheese at the end of cooking, as directed in this recipe.

Ingredients:

For the polenta:

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups Italian polenta
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup grated Pamigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 Italian sausages, spicy or mild
  • 2 large green bell peppers, seeded and cut into
     slices 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 jar (26 oz.) Williams-Sonoma Arrabbiata Pasta
     Sauce

Directions:

To make the polenta, in a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Continue stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles occasionally. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the polenta is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, a few cubes at a time, then stir in the cheese. Keep warm over very low heat.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausages and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the sausages to a plate.

Add the bell peppers and onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the pasta sauce and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and return the sausages to the pan. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat. Transfer the sausages and sauce to a warmed serving bowl. Transfer the polenta to another bowl and serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.