Monday, April 14, 2008

Polenta Sausage Mozzarella Lasagna/Casserole

Holy cow this was a comforting dish! When I saw this recipe here I immediately put it on our menu for this week. The picture said enough for me. But when I got to reading the ingredients, I was hooked, I just love fresh oregano. I actually made my own polenta instead of using the packaged stuff, but I'm sure that would have saved a lot of time. I had to wait quite a while for my polenta to set up. But it was worth it in the end. I was thrilled to use my favorite brand of sausage, Rinaldi. My sweet Papa brought me and my brother a case of it from MI when he came for a visit. (yay!)

I tweaked the recipe a bit so I wouldn't have to go to the grocery. Instead of using bell pepper I used a poblano and omitted the red chili flakes. I also added Parmesan cheese to the polenta, and used shredded mozzarella instead of the fresh. I would watch the polenta carefully when putting under the broiler, mine almost burnt but thankfully I caught it in time. This recipe can easily be adapted to your liking by adding, or omitting ingredients.
The best thing about this recipe is I'm going to have plenty left over to enjoy later. I may even freeze a couple slices to eat while Chad is out of town. : )
Polenta Sausage Mozzarella Lasagna/Casserole
(Simply Recipes)
5 1/2 Tbsp olive oil1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano ( I used 2)
1 med yellow onion, halved lengthwise then cut into wedges (I diced)
1 medium bell pepper (red, green, orange or yellow), cut lengthwise into thin slices (I used poblano and diced)
2 cloves garlic, minced (used 3)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (omitted)
1 pound Italian sausage (removed from casings), sweet or spicy
2 pounds of prepared polenta cut 1/2-inch slices if using prepared polenta in a tube ( I made my own using the package directions and adding parmesan. I used 1 1/2 cup and 7 cups chicken stock and 4 Tbs. butter)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella sliced in 1/4 inch slices (I used shredded + more parm.)

1 Preheat oven broiler on high. Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a 2-3 qt saucepan on medium heat. Add tomatoes and oregano, simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes
2 While the tomatoes are cooking, in a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, stirring and breaking it into small pieces as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Cover the pan and cook until vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 5-8 more minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

3 While the sauce is cooking, coat the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan with a 1 Tbsp oil. Add the cooked polenta (or slices) to the pan. Coat the top of the polenta with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil. Broil the polenta about 4 inches from the heating element until golden brown and crispy, about 10-15 minutes.

4 Pour sauce over broiled polenta, then arrange Mozzarella slices over the top and return the casserole to the broiler. Broil until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings.


bakingblonde said...

Once again you make a comforting meal with new and unusaul ingredients like Polenta. Wow! That is all I have to say!!

Stefany said...

This looks SO good!! I might be able to convince hubby to eat it if I stick with calling it a casserole :-)

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious! It sounds like the perfect combination of flavors!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, that looks so creamy and delicious!

Daziano said...

Comfort food, mmmmm... I like it!!!

Nina Timm said...

My family will love this lasagna.

Cara said...

This looks delicious. I keep meaning to make some kind of polenta lasanga or casserole!

Cara said...

This looks delicious. I keep meaning to make some kind of polenta lasanga or casserole!

That Girl said...

I have both sausage and polenta in my fridge right now and I'm wondering if I'll have time to make this before Passover this weekend - Seriously gorgeous dish!

Neen said...

Woah, that really does look like the epitome of comfort food... lasagna and noodles and pizza and yumminess all thrown together. I'm practically drooling over the idea. Why isn't this a more common riff on lasagna? It should be!