Polenta Makes A Delicious Crust

Casseroles are always easy, delicious dinner choices that usually provide plenty of leftovers; this polenta-based casserole is no different.

Three cheese polenta casserole

Some of my favorite dinner recipes are casseroles. They're perfect on a chilly winter evening, and they can be made ahead of time for those busy nights when you don't have time to cook a big meal. The best part is there's usually enough left over for a second meal later in the week. So with all those pluses, I'm always on the lookout for another casserole dish made up of some of my favorite ingredients. Whether it's broccoli or sausage, chicken or noodles, if it can all be poured into a casserole dish and thrown in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, I am a happy chef. This casserole from Better Homes and Gardens made up of polenta and sausage will make you a happy chef, too.

Three-cheese and sausage polenta gratin

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 12 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups jarred tomato sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 3-quart baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring broth and butter to a boil. In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and milk and slowly add the mixture to the boiling broth, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is very thick. Stir in the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan until well combined. Spread 2/3 of the polenta in the prepared baking dish and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat until sausage is browned and onions are tender, five to seven minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and heat through. Spoon the sausage mixture over the polenta in the dish and spread evenly. Dollop the remaining polenta on top of the sausage mixture and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Spoon onto plates and enjoy.

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