Your perfect pasta night just got a little spicier with polenta jars topped with a spicy Italian sausage and red wine mushroom ragu.
I love a good Italian Night! The only problem is that pasta sometimes does not agree with me. I think since I went gluten-free for a month, my body just can’t take the large amounts of pasta that I can consume.
I used to eat pasta for breakfast, that’s how much I love it! Just because I can’t eat the pasta noodles doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t get to enjoy Italian night just like everyone else. The best way to still get that comfort food feeling without the pasta is to use polenta.
I never knew how fun polenta could be until I watched Michael Chiarello make a polenta night for some guests on his Easy Entertaining show in Napa Valley. It was so much fun watching him make all these tasty sauces, cheesy ones and spicy ones, and this perfectly creamy polenta.
He served it by pouring it down the middle of a table that was topped with brown paper. The polenta was so warm and thick that it stayed in the middle of the table. Everyone could spoon some from the center and then dress it with their favorite sauce or pesto.
How fun it would be to serve dinner like this. Talk about family style!
I don’t think I have a table long enough to pour it out so dramatically, so I will have to serve it in something a little less spacious. Tapas is the name of the game here so how about a tapas style portion in a cute jar complete with a thick and chunky ragu for the top?
You can eat it straight from the jar, which my husband did, or smear it on some crusty bread. The first choice keeps it gluten-free while the second one makes it more of a creamy spread for your crostini.
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Either way, this polenta jar will satisfy your cravings for Italian food and make you #FallForFlavor on another level!
Italian night is something that everyone likes and is very family friendly. How would you like to win your own Perfect Pasta Night?
For the polenta
- 1 cup dry polenta
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (, shredded)
Red Wine Mushrooms
- 12 ounces sliced mushrooms ((I used baby bellas for this one))
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (, minced)
- 1 pound Italian sausage (, casings removed)
- 1 cup Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauce ((I used the roasted garlic and caramelized onion))
- Crostini or some other crusty bread
- To make the polenta:
- Bring the milk, salt, and chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add the polenta and stir to combine.
- Reduce temperature to low and continue to cook, while stirring occasionally, until done. About 20 minutes.
- When done, stir in cheese.
- To make the mushrooms:
- Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Add mushrooms and garlic and saute until brown.
- Add red wine and butter and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Keep warm until ready to make ragu.
- To make ragu:
- Saute sausage in a saute pan until cooked through and starting to brown and get crispy on the edges.
- Drain the fat and return to the pan.
- Add red wine mushrooms and Mezzetta's Napa Valley Pasta sauce.
- Stir to combine.
- To assemble the jars:
- Scoop polenta into jar or bowl of your choice.
- Top with ragu.
- Garnish with cheese or fresh basil, whichever you choose.
- Serve warm with a spoon or a few slices of crusty bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 2280mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 21g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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