Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Calabria: Polenta con Fagioli e Salsiccia

I had to modify Costantino's recipe for Polenta with Beans and Sausage (Polenta con Fagioli e Salsiccia) a bit. By, "a bit," I really mean that I altered every single element.

First of all, I completely forgot to soak dried cranberry beans, and subbed a can of cannelini beans instead. I'm sure that the dried beans would have maintained more structural integrity than my canned ones did, but whatever. It was good enough with canned beans.

The recipe requires fine cornmeal, which it says is typical in Calabria, versus the coarse cornmeal found in other parts of Italy. I was only able to find coarse cornmeal, so that is what I used. Mine did not have a "smooth, soft, almost custard-like texture," but again--whatever. It was good enough with coarse.

Lastly, I used sweet Italian sausage, rather than hot. Charlie isn't fond of spicy food. There was no chance I'd use hot sausage, when I know he'll eat the sweet kind.

This recipe was surprisingly easy to make, and the crusty slices of browned sausage were a hit with all of us. The polenta is cooked in tomato puree and water, so I'm going to pretend that's a valid vegetable serving. Once the polenta is thick, the beans and cooked sausage are dumped back into the pot, cooked for a few more minutes, and voila! Dinner.
How do they make food looks so good in cookbooks?
Charlie did taste the polenta, but he said he didn't like it. That's all I ask. He did eat a heap of sausage, so it wasn't a total bust.

I thought this was very tasty right off of the stove. It's not as great after it cools and congeals. That holds for all polenta dishes, though. This was especially easy and quick because there was no chopping involved. I'd make this one again.

Conclusion: Liked it.

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