Sausage and Mushroom Ragu with Polenta

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

8 ounces Italian sausage (I like the kick of the spicy versions.)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained (I prefer the petite diced version.)

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup uncooked polenta

4 ounces cream cheese

1 tablespoon butter


Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Remove sausage from casings and add to pan; saute until browned, stirring to crumble.

Remove sausage from the pan.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan and swirl to coat.

Add onion, sauteing until golden.

Add mushrooms, cooking until softened.

Add garlic, saute briefly, until fragrant.

Return sausage to the pan with tomatoes.

Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, bring broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Add polenta slowly, whisking well to avoid lumps.

Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.

Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cheese, and butter.

Serve with sausage mixture. (4 servings)