Italian Sausage Casserole with Polenta

For a hearty, warming Italian meal try Aldo Zilli's simple recipe for a rich and tasty sausage casserole served with polenta.
By Aldo Zilli
Italian Sausage Casserole with Polenta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 Italian sausages
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 450 g carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • heart celery, trimmed and diced
  • 2 leeks, finely chopped
  • 200 ml white wine, such as Sauvignon blanc
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 1 cooking apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • black pepper
  • 400 g tinned borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp butter, softened

For the Polenta:

  • 1 litres water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 175 g ground polenta
  • 55 g butter
  • 115 g parmesan, freshly grated
  • 3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large deep pan. Add the sausages onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and leeks to the pan. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes until the sausages and onion begin to brown.

2. Add the wine, stock, apple, bay leaf and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes until the sausages are cooked through and the vegetables are very soft.

3. Add the borlotti beans during the final 10 minutes of cooking. If the juices need to be thickened slightly, mix the flour and butter into a paste and add, stirring constantly. Cook for a further minute.

4. Meanwhile make the polenta. Put the water in a large deep pan, add salt and bring to the boil, reduce heat and gradually add the polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk.

5. Simmer for 20 minutes until the polenta is very dense and thick and separating from the side of the pan and the grains are tender. Even if the polenta thickens before the 20 minutes are up it needs that cooking time.

6. Beat the butter and parmesan into the polenta and season to taste with salt. Stir in the parsley and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

7. To serve, divide the polenta between four large shallow bowls and spoon over the sausage and vegetable mixture. Spoon over the sausage juice and serve.

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