Baked Polenta With Sausage & Mushrooms
My family loves polenta though we only seem to enjoy it in the fall and winter when we seem to crave heartier food. Although we’ve had an extremely warm fall so far here in Umbria, last week I decided to treat my husband with a new polenta dish I had been thinking about. Polenta is so versatile and you can do so many things with it that we never get tired of it although when I’m really in need of a good plate of comfort food, I love a bowl of creamy soft polenta topped with either a simple tomato sauce and grated cheese or a hearty ragu. For this dish, I decided to layer polenta with some mushrooms and sausage as well as some creamy cheese and bake it until it was bubbly and golden. Although I made my baked polenta in one large terracotta casserole dish, this recipe would be great prepared in small individual casseroles.
This is a hearty dish and a little goes a long way so serve as a main course with a nice crisp salad and crusty Italian bread. Read more about polenta in my post Polenta Practicalities!
Deborah Mele 2012
Baked Polenta With Sausage & Mushrooms
A hearty baked casserole featuring creamy polenta layered with sausage, mushrroms, and cheese.
- 4 1/2 Cups Water
- 1 1/2 Cups Coarse Cornmeal
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 Sausage Links, Casings Removed
- 8 Ounces Mushrooms, Cleaned & Slices
- 1/2 Medium Onion, Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1 Cup Grated Melting Cheese Such As Scamorza, Fontina, Asiago
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the oil in a heavy skillet and brown the sausage meat until no longer pink.
- Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic, and cook over medium heat until everything is soft and golden brown.
- Season with thyme, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper and set aside.
- Pour the water into a medium pot and season with salt and pepper.
- Whisk the cornmeal as you pour it into the water to prevent lumps, then bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until thick.
- Fold the butter and cheese into the polenta until completely mixed.
- Lightly greasy an ovenproof casserole and pour in half the polenta.
- Scatter all but 3/4 cup of the sausage mushroom mixture over the polenta.
- Scatter 3/4 cup of the cheese on top of the sausage mixture, then cover with the remaining polenta.
- Top the polenta with the 1/2 of sausage mixture and remaining cheese, then bake for 25 minutes until golden and bubbly.
As soon as I saw this recipe I jumped in the car and went to the market. It is delicious!! It was the perfect consistancy for the polenta. My husband is italian and he was wondering what I was making. He isn’t a fan of casserole type dishes. I served some up and he said it was great!! He even went back for seconds. As always Deborah, your dishes are fantastic!!! Thanks again for a keeper!
Thanks Karen, we love it too!
Lovely recipe. Made this today and I added spinach – fabulous.
Love your recipes, Deborah…. Thanks for a great blog.
I was searching recipes using ground pork sausage andcame across your website. I am in love with italian food and want to explore Italy one day. Your blog/website is amazing and I have been glued to your recipes all night with a nice glass of red wine. I know it is spring but I had to make this. I purchased some fresh italian ground pork sausage from our farmers market and wanted to cook it. I had some leftover mushrooms, asparagus, and some celery that i cut all up and added to the pork. It was so amazing! I have made a list of some spring (asparagus, peas, fava beans) recipes to start on as I visit my local famers markets. The farmhouse is amazing as well. Maybe one day I will eat and drink my way throughout Italy.
Diedre, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m very glad you enjoyed the recipe!
If you made this in advance and then baked it would the polenta survive? Would like a dish for company. Thanks!
I think it could be made ahead and then baked, but it would be best to make it just before serving.
I disagree. This is better the second day. Let it come to room temperature, sit in the fridge, covered, overnight, and then cut it into squares and fry it in a pan, the lid ajar so the bottom becomes crisp and the top melty again. The only way to enjoy it, as far as I’m concerned.
Thank you for the recipe, by the way. I was looking for something to do with too much polenta, and you gave my polenta a lifeline. You’re amazing.
Thanks, great tips!