Cooking the Italian Way – Sausage, Peppers, and Broccoli Rabe Over Polenta

I have a truly serious proclivity for mushy foods. Oatmeal. Pudding. Mashed potatoes.
Perhaps this is a result of my subconscious trying to prepare me for a (hopefully) far off future in which I lose my teeth to old age and am reduced to puree-ing all of my meals. Either that or I’m regressing to toddler-dom.
Neither of these actually sound so bad. Considering the fact that both entail having a daily time slot for nap time. Something that is severely lacking in my life.
Of all the edible “things that go mush”. Polenta is by far my favorite.
Corn. Cream. Parmesan cheese. Butter. How can you go wrong?
It helps that it’s also the most socially acceptable of the mush options to order at a restaurant. People look twice when you whip out your Gerber jar of winter squash puree (what?!? It tastes GOOD!). But smile and nod when you ask for polenta. Go figure.
One of my favorite ways to eat polenta is topped with everyone’s favorite Italian trio. Sausage, peppers, and broccoli rabe (or broccoli raab or rapini, depending on where you grew up). Okay so maybe this isn’t really a classic trio…more of a love triangle that has succumbed to the inevitable menage trois. After all. We all love the ever-delicious sausage and pepper street fair combination. And then there is, of course, the renowned pairing of sausage and broccoli rabe. So it only makes sense that when you combine them all together, the only thing that can result is sheer ecstasy.
Don’t you think?

Sausage, Peppers, and Broccoli Rabe over Polenta

Serves 4
2 links of spicy Italian sausage (or any sausage you want, really)
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch broccoli rabe
1 large onion
2 cups polenta
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tbsp butter
1. Bring the water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, slowly. Immediately lower the heat to medium-low and stir frequently for 30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, remove the sausage from its casings and saute it in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until starting to brown. Add in the red bell pepper and onion. Saute until slightly softened.
3. In a separate pan, steam the broccoli rabe with about 1/4 cup water. Drain when wilted. Mix the broccoli rabe with the sausage, pepper, and onion mixture.
4. When the polenta is done, whisk in the parmesan cheese and the butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Place 1/4 of the polenta mixture into each bowl and top with the sausage, pepper, onion, and broccoli rabe.


I LOVE grits! Errrr I mean polenta;)

This looks great, Joanne. I do a very similar dish but it uses grits. So comforting and filling, isn’t it?

Great job!