Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Adapted from _Molto Mario_ as published by Blake Royer at Serious Eats. Running all three pans at the same time, it should take about 40 minutes total cooking time.
- 4 cups water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups polenta
- 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
- 2 lbs pork Italian sausage, preferably in sheep casings
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 red bell peppers, seeded, cored and cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 4 yellow bell peppers, seeded, cored and cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup hot water
- In a large saucepan, heat the water and salt over medium heat. When boiling, add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking continuously. Continue whisking until it's too thick to continue, then switch to a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and thick - just about as long as it takes to make the rest of the dish. Add more water if it gets too thick.
- In a large (12-14") skillet, heat 6 tbsp of the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, peppers, chili flakes and oregano, and saute until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Open a space in the middle of the pan and add the tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste browns slightly, then combine with onions and peppers. Add red wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden paddle, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- In a second large skillet (large enough to hold the sausages comfortably), heat the last tbsp of oil until shimmering. Add the sausages and cook undisturbed until dark golden brown on the underside, 7-10 minutes. Turn sausages carefully and top with the pepper mixture. Add 1 cup hot water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, adding water if needed to keep the consistency of a ragu.
- If using, stir Parmesan and butter into polenta. Divide into shallow bowls and top with sausages and peppers.