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Author Notes: Let me see how many of you can guess who came for dinner with the polenta! That's what I wanted to do with this recipe, have guests take a spoonful of the ingredients and guess what they were. I have added different textures and tastes to make the recipe more interesting. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Lentils, tomato sauce and Italian Sausage
- 4 fresh, spicy italian sausages
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped for garnish
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup cornmeal or instant polenta
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons milk
- Cook the green lentils following the instructions in the package and seasoning the water with salt. When cooked, drain and keep warm.
- Make a basic tomato sauce with skinned ripe tomatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic and herbs. When cooked, discard the herbs and process it to a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- In a frying pan add the olive oil and fry the fresh Italian sausages over medium heat. When brown all around remove from pan, cut in slices and put back in the pan and lightly golden both sides of the sausage. Set aside and keep warm.
- For the polenta: In a heavy pan bring water and salt to a boil. Pour the cornmeal in a steady stream and whisk. Lower heat to low and cook the polenta so that it barely boils, whisking constantly. When it starts to thicken, use a wooden spoon and continue cooking for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the polenta creates a crust in the pan and pulls away from the sides. If using pre-cooked polenta follow the instructions in the package.
- Add the butter and the milk and mix well. For this recipe the polenta has to be more moist and creamier then normal.
- In individual glasses or ramekins fill the base with polenta (1/3 of the height), add 3 tablespoons of warm tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of warm green lentils and 4 or 5 slices of warm fried sausage on top.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately so the polenta doesn't get hard.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Polenta Recipe