I give Mr. Prevention grief sometimes about not swooning over every meal I serve up. Too many veggies this…it needs more salt that. Obviously we all have our likes and dislikes. Unfortunately for me, I have very few dislikes.
Growing up, my dad would say, “I’ll eat anything but sardines.” He should add sushi and hummus to that list, but truly, he’s a pretty good eater. Mr. Prevention likes most things, too, but polenta makes it onto his list of “Will Not Eat. Period.”
Polenta is a food I have very little experience with, but I’ve always seen it in the grocery stores in those fun tubes that are shelf-stable. It’s so healthy and I pictured it being like tofu in having the ability to take on the flavors of whatever it’s being served with.
The later may be true, but I love tofu and sadly, I have learned that I do not like polenta. At least not polenta that has been sliced from a log and pan-fried. Tasteless, horrid texture and blah. Into the trash it went. Sad, but true.
The girl scout in me got to thinking how I could salvage this meal. It looked soooo good in Food Network Magazine. And the sauce…oh the sauce. It WAS delicious. Truly delicious.
After far too many, “Ahahahahaha, I TOLD YOU POLENTA IS GROSS!” from Mr. Prevention, I boiled some farro and tossed it with the sausage and mushroom sauce. DELICIOUS. I swapped one Italian carb for another and not too shockingly, it was a winner.
I guess it was a texture thing.
I hate to be wrong, but polenta…you failed me. I want to love you, but I don’t. I’m just glad I didn’t throw my arms up completely at the meal and turned this into a new favorite Italian dish!
Sausage and Mushroom Ragout with Farro inspired by Food Network
1 cup dry farro 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 8 oz (2 links) hot Italian sausage, casings removed 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 2 Tbsp Italian parsley, minced
Heat 1 quart water in a small pot; bring to a boil. Stir in the farro and cook ~20-25 minutes until tender, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet and add the sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until just browned, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes and stir in cooked farro. Serve hot.
Yield: 5 servings (about 1 1/2 cup each)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 248 calories; 5.6 g. fat; 26 mg. cholesterol; 603 mg. sodium; 37.4 g. carbohydrate; 5.6 g. fiber; 14.4 g. protein
Result: This sauce is DELICIOUS and would be good on anything, absolutely anything. The hot Italian sausage with the mushrooms is the perfect texture variation. You can serve this over pasta or even rice. I opted for farro for little something different, but what you choose, rest assured, it will be delicious! Enjoy!
Mr. Prevention is in Mexico for work this week so my parents are here visiting and helping me with the work-hockey-cookbook balance I’m trying to manage. I would be jealous of Mr. Prevention, but our forecast in Michigan has 70’s later this week…wooo! And, I scored not one, but TWO goals in my game last night. I play again tonight
But first, work. At least the parental unit will be swinging by for lunch at the hospital. Apple, cranberry, walnut, and blue cheese salad with apple cider vinaigrette is on the menu. YUM!