Polenta with wild mushrooms and Italian sausage

Catherine Fulvio turns to the rustic flavours of Italy for this heart-warming dish
By Catherine Fulvio
Polenta with wild mushrooms and Italian sausage
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 2 hours chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the polenta

  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 250 g polenta
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for frying

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Italian sausages, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 200 g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Masala wine or sweet sherry
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley

Tips and Suggestions

Cooks note
If at any point the polenta becomes lumpy during cooking, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth before returning to the pan.

Method

1. For the polenta: pour 1 litre of water into a large heavy-based pan, add the salt and bring to the boil, stirring until the salt has dissolved. Gradually pour in the polenta in a thin, steady stream while whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.

2. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and cook for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and creamy and comes away from the pan when stirred.

3. Line a loaf tin with clingfilm and pour in the polenta. Cover with more cling film and allow to cool before chilling in the fridge for at least two hours, or until set.

4. For the sauce: heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the sausage for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.

5. Add the butter to the pan and return to a high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Pour in the Masala wine and cook for 1 -2 minutes, or until most of the alcohol has evaporated.

6. Stir in the cream and cook for 1-2 minutes before returning the sausages to the pan. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the chopped parsley.

7. Thickly slice the polenta. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry each slice for 2-3 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown all over.

8. To serve, arrange the polenta slices on serving plates and spoon over the mushroom and Italian sausage mixture. Garnish with the chopped flat-leaf parsley.

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