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Vegetable and Sausage Ragout with Polenta

To seed tomatoes easily and quickly, cut them in half crosswise. Hold each half, cut side down, over a bowl and squeeze gently to dislodge the seeds, easing them out with a finger if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 2 smoked Italian sausages, sliced 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced 
  • 4 summer vegetable kabobs (see related recipe at left), vegetables removed and coarsely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth  
  • Salt, to taste, plus 3/4 tsp. 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 1/2 cups milk  
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 3/4 cup instant polenta  
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter 
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh sage 

Directions:

Make the ragout
In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausage and sauté until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they release their juices, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low to keep the ragout warm.

Make the polenta
In a saucepan over high heat, combine the milk, water and the 3/4 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, return to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook, whisking often, until the polenta is thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and keep warm.

Make the sage butter
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the sage and cook until the butter is fragrant with the sage, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Spoon the polenta into individual bowls and top with the ragout. Spoon the sage butter on top and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Grilling, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2007).