Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sausage and Polenta

I've been in a polenta mood lately. Now, the most frugal way to make polenta is to cook it from scratch. Most of the recipes I've found for soft polenta come with a lot of cream, butter, and cheese. And really, I kind of prefer the tube-polenta that is pan-fried in a little olive oil.

I did try to make it this way myself once. Cooked up from scratch, baked it in a pan to dry it out, and then fried. It was a mess. So now, when I want polenta, I pay $1.99 a tube at Trader Joe's.

I had a few chicken and gouda sausages in the freezer from my parent's visit earlier this year. We're not big meat eaters - I think that's the only meat in the freezer actually. (The rest of the sausage is going into today's bean crockpot soup). I thought it would be a perfect topping for polenta.

In my desire to "use it up", I decided to add cherry tomatoes. The CSA has had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes this year. A few weeks ago, I heard mention of how some members are tired of them. Well, for a few months we've gotten a overflowing pint a week. I'm not a big fan of raw cherry tomatoes. Combine the high acidity with the feel of popping in your mouth (I don't like grapes either), and you get...yuck. So I slice them in half in salads or relishes. Or I cook 'em.

Today they made a lovely sauce.

Sausage and Polenta
4 chicken and gouda sausages, about 1 lb: ~$3.00 (don't really remember)
1/2 a large onion: 0.40
2 small purple bell peppers: 0.50
1 T. canola oil: 0.03
1 pint cherry tomatoes: 3.00
2 cloves garlic: 0.10
salt, pepper, basil, oregano to taste
1 tube polenta: 1.99
1 Tbsp olive oil: 0.11
3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese for topping: 0.37
Total: $9.50 for about 3 servings. $3.16 per serving.

Of course, this could be make more frugal by eliminating the meat and making your own polenta. You can use any kind of tomato (including canned). I am estimating the cost of the cherry tomatoes. Mine are local and organic and part of the CSA, so I don't really know the true cost.

Served with a big salad...


Amy B said...

I don't like raw tomatoes either, even though I think I should, I don't.

Thanks for another great recipe and the cost break down too.

Lele said...

I've been craving polenta, too, and wondering if Trader Joe's is the way to go. It sounds like for ease and tastiness, it probably is! Thanks for the tip!