This hearty entrée features a mushroom and sausage ragù (Italian meat-and-tomato pasta sauce) served over creamy polenta. Cook the polenta while the ragù simmers so everything will be ready and hot at the same time.
4 servings (serving size: 1 cup polenta and 1 cup ragù)
Cost per Serving:
1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Remove sausage from casings. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sausage, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; simmer gently for 15 minutes.
3. Bring broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add polenta, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cheese, and butter. Serve with sausage mixture.
Wine match: Tempranillo At $3.99, who wouldn't jump for joy about the La Granja 360 Tempranillo (Carinena, Spain, 2008). Although a tad tight upon opening, this wine mellows to unveil a touch of licorice, tart cherry, and a dry spice rack concoction that echoes the mushrooms' depth, stands up to the spice of the sausage, and complements the creamy polenta. --Alexander Spacher