Polenta Bake with Italian Sausage & Lacinato Kale
Recipe type: Dinner, Entree, Main
Cuisine: Italian, Winter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Cheesy baked polenta can't be beat if you're looking for comfort food on a cold night!
  • 1 ½ c. Polenta
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 12 oz. Italian Sausage, casings removed if using links
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, sliced
  • pinch or 2 Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 large bunch Lacinato Kale (Swiss chard or broccoli rabe would also do the trick), tough center stalk removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Italian Plum Tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 c. grated Fontina Cheese (Provolone or low-moisture Mozzarella are fine too—you just want something that melts well)
  1. First, start the polenta. Bring about 6 c. water with 1 tsp. salt to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is cooked and the consistency is firm but spreadable, 25-30 minutes. If the pan ever seems too dry, add a little more water and quickly stir to incorporate. When the polenta is where you want it to be, remove from heat, still in the grated Parmesan. Taste. Season, if necessary.
  2. While the polenta is cooking preheat the oven to 400° and address the other ingredients. Brown the sausage in a large ovenproof skillet, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces as you go, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, season with a pinch of salt, and cook until the onions have wilted down, about 5 minutes. Add the kale in a couple of batches, tossing until it has shrunk down, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, season, and simmer briefly until the flavors have come together, 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, and remove from heat.
  3. Arrange the sautéed sausage and kale in an even layer. Spread the polenta over the mixture and sprinkle the grated Fontina over the top. Bake until the cheese has melted and the polenta is crispy at the edges, 20-25 minutes.
Recipe by strawberryplum at http://www.strawberryplum.com/polenta-bake-with-italian-sausage-lacinato-kale/