This is the topping that we made to go on the Butternut Squash Polenta. It’s one of those really satisfying, but incredibly simple recipes that barely takes any prep. Once you’ve got the polenta going, you can relax, have a little wine (since you’ve already opened it to make the sauce so, why not?), do a little chopping, and you’re ready to cook.
There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this so use the best quality sausage you can get. It works well with pork but I really love using turkey sausage from DiPaola‘s. You can get it at several farmers’ markets around New York City but sadly, we have’t seen it around here yet.
A great vegetarian option would be to use cannellini beans. Rinse them well and sauté them with a little olive oil, garlic, rosemary and chile flakes.
This was adapted from Melissa Clark’s version. I wanted a bit of a sauce to go with it so I added the wine and mustard. The result is a delicious, savory, quick and easy dinner.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 1½ pounds sweet or hot Italian pork or turkey sausage, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- 2 teaspoons minced rosemary
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 small onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into ¼-inch half moons
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish (optional)
- Butternut Squash Polenta
- While polenta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is golden and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Add rosemary and chili flakes if using and cook for a minute more. (Do this in batches if necessary, adding oil if the pan looks dry.) Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
- Add more oil to the skillet if it looks dry, then add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Don't rush this step, you want the onions to be soft and sweet. Add 1 cup dry white wine and cook down until reduced by ½. Stir in the mustard. Return sausage to pan and stir to heat through. Spoon polenta into bowls and top with sausage and onion, garnished with rosemary and cherry tomatoes.