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![/print_this]
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! 😉
That log polenta is really horrid. And this is from someone who loves polenta. I would suggest giving it another shot, but use the instant polenta. It results in a texture similar to cream of wheat. I love it soft like that, but you can bake it to give it more of a firmer texture that you can cut into shapes (I guess log pieces). I prefer my polenta with some cheese stirred in. You can use this as a guideline http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blue-cheese-polenta-vegetables-50400000115202/
I made the polenta (step 2 only) and served it as a side with chicken. Don’t give up on polenta! Those logs are terrible and I threw it out too.
I loooove the soupy polenta and cheese never hurts 🙂 I will definitely try the instant kind, thank you Kate!
I just had chicken sausage with mushrooms in my omelet this morning- you’re right, it’s an awesome combination! 🙂
This looks delicious!
Log polenta is HORRID but Trader Joe’s frozen spinach and carrot polenta is a staple in our freezer, I love to add protein to the top.
Oh, Nicole! You have got to make homemade polenta!!! It is so much better…so creamy and amazing. I love to serve it with a roasted tomato and caramelized onion sauce (although any marinara or meat sauce would work well) and with shrimp for an Italian style shrimp & “grits.” It is good with anything you would serve over pasta. Then, pour leftovers onto a greased sheet pan or 9×13 and allow to cool. Cut into shapes and “faux fry.” AMAZING with marinara.
The log stuff is ok in a pinch…but you have to find the right brand. Some of them are just awful. Homemade is 100% better than the log. You can go creamy or you can do it so it sets up like the log in a pan. If you like grits, you’ll like the creamy version. Farro is one grain I have yet to try. The ragout looks so comforting!
and my husband is a huge critic of my food…of course, I think he should swoon over the things I think come out amazing, but most of the time, he loves the stuff I think is mediocre at best. I think his taste buds are just immature! lol
I much prefer the creamy polenta that you make from a box – the tube stuff is a bit too rubbery for me. Glad the parents are here to help! Our temps won’t drop until Friday – love it!
Hooray on the TWO GOALS! I think that’s a record for you in one game?
I had tried making polenta once at home and didn’t care for it. I have had it in restaurants though and really enjoyed it. I definitely think it has potential but depends on the way it’s prepared.
Great job on 2 goals!!
Can I ask you how you fit it all in!?! 😉
You HAVE to give “real” polenta try, not that log stuff in the refrigerated section. gross. It’s as simple as adding cornmeal to water (although butter and milk make it better) and stirring vigorously for a few minutes. I guarantee you’ll like it if you make it yourself 🙂
I’ve never tried cooking with Farro, but this looks like a great way to try it!
Log of polenta is blech. You need to make yellow corn grits — which is basically what polenta is. You can make with cheeses and other veggies, add a little shrimp. It does harden a little as it cools, but normally you’ve eaten it by then. 🙂 When you reheat it, it softens again. Yum.
Fresh polenta is so much better than the log kind!
Use Giada Delaurentiis’ recipe for Creamy Polenta… Not healthy, but to DIE for. Amazing. I made it for my mother and grandmother when I had them over for brunch at my new apartment. Here’s the link…
Made this tonight with lamb sausage. Sauteed the Farro in a little butter and chicken stock for about 8 minutes. B4 adding to the stew pot. Also added 2 cups of stock to make it more of a thick, hearty soup. It was delicious, with fresh made honey lavash. Thank you for sharing the idea!!!
Sarah: So glad you liked this dish! Your changes sound deeeelicious!!
Oh I also added fresh peas, yumm!!!!!
Thank you for the quick response!! Excellent dish as I said I added a little stock and fresh peas for a hearty soup. Sauté’in the Farro with a little light butter and olive oil gave the Farro a nice solid bite. Excellent dish, yes I scewed it to my version, though thank you once more for shareing!! You have the most attractive dish on Foodspotting, well at least for Farro soup dish recipes 😉
Nicole, if it comes already cooked in a tube ….. forget it gal 🙂
That stuff is just plain NASTY and I too LOVE polenta.
Try cooking it as normal, add cheese and a little butter at the end. Then take a square heat resistant dish and pour it in. Wet your hands and pat it flat.
Let cool in the frisge. Tip it out and slice it, roll in dry polenta and fry in hot olive oil 🙂
NOW you have a creamy polenta inside with a deliscious crunchy outside. Enjoy 🙂