Italian Sausage and Vegetable Entree with Polenta

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

1 pound Italian sausage
2 cups sliced onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms, cleaned
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
teaspoon salt
1 17-ounce package pre-cooked garlic flavored polenta, cut into -inch rounds  
1 cups grated Provolone cheese
cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Squeeze sausage out of the casings into a large heavy skillet. Over medium heat, saute sausage, breaking up sausage into small pieces. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
  2. Remove sausage from pan with a slotted spoon and drain well on clean paper towels.  Reserve 1 tablespoon pan drippings and discard other drippings. 
  3. Reheat same large heavy skillet over medium heat and add reserved 1 tablespoon pan drippings. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is soft. Add mushrooms and zucchini. Cook and stir frequently until all liquid evaporates. 
  4. Stir in tomatoes, herbs, red pepper flakes and salt. Return sausage to pan and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  5. Spread an even scant layer (about 2/3 cup) of sauce on bottom of an 11x7-inch baking pan. Add a single layer of sliced polenta rounds. Layer with 2 cups of sausage sauce, followed by cup of Provolone. Finish with an additional layer of polenta rounds, all the sausage sauce and all the Provolone. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese atop. 
  6. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 
  7. Garnish each serving with fresh basil leaves. 

NOTE:  Use the food processor for slicing onions, mushrooms and zucchini.   
This variation of the time consuming lasagna entree requires less preparation time and less clean-up.

National Hot Dog & Sausage Council
    
    

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