Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragù

  • Serves

    serves 4


This simple, comforting dish adapted from Anna Watson Carl's cookbook The Yellow Table is a great one to make for dinner parties; the ragù improves over time, so make it the day before, and reheat it just before serving. The polenta can also be made ahead, but you'll need to whisk in a bit of water to loosen it while you warm it on the stove.


  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 12 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 14 cup finely chopped basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 14 cups polenta (not quick-cooking) or yellow cornmeal
  • 12 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for garnish


Step 1

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high; add sausage and cook, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and boil; simmer until thick, 20 minutes. Add basil, vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper; keep warm.

Step 2

Meanwhile, bring sea salt and 5 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; slowly add polenta and cook, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining oil, 1⁄2 cup parmesan, and kosher salt. Divide between bowls and top with ragù; garnish with more parmesan.

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.