Sausages and polenta are our go-to healthy comfort food. We’ve made them enough times this year to cement that fact – in the spring with canned tomatoes, with spinach for extra bulk, with cherry tomatoes from the garden – occasionally subbing meatballs for the sausages, but never leaving out the sauce or the buttery polenta.
There are few things better – or easier – to make on a cold and tired Monday night. I suppose that macaroni and cheese from a box would be easier, as would throwing a frozen pizza in the toaster oven for ten minutes. We certainly do both of these things often enough. You do have to open a container of thawed tomato sauce and empty it into a dish, which you then have to place under the broiler. While it’s warming up, you might need to give your sausages a few minutes in the grill pan – or, if they’re precooked, you might just need to open a packet. Oh the arduous task of adding the sausages to the warming sauce! Bring your water to a boil, then whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat. Cooks Illustrated has a no-stir method, but you have to get behind their pay wall to access it. If you’ve timed this all right, your sausages will be golden by the time your polenta has absorbed all of the liquid – this took 15 minutes or less tonight – and you can sit down with a delicious dinner.
Basic Polenta from Giada De Laurentiis (I’ve been halving the recipe, which makes enough for four)