Mushroom and Sausage Ragu with Polenta

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

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.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup polenta and 1 cup ragù)
Cost per Serving: $2.49
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 428
  • Fat: 18.7g
  • Saturated fat: 8.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 8.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 18.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 46g
  • Fiber: 4.6g
  • Cholesterol: 53mg
  • Iron: 3.3mg
  • Sodium: 821mg
  • Calcium: 74mg

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation

  1. 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. 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. 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.
  4. 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
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