Polenta Pie with Sausage and Cheese
This recipe is featured in Polenta Perfect
Excerpted from The International Cookbook For Kids by Matthew Locricchio (Two Lions 2012)
- Servings Serves 4 to 6
- 1 recipe Instant Polenta*
- 454 grams (1 pound/about 6 links) sweet Italian sausage
- 1 medium-size yellow onion
- 113 grams (4 ounces) fontina cheese
- 113 grams (4 ounces) mozzarella cheese
- 57 grams (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese
- 118 ml (½ cup) Tomato Sauce (see recipe) or bottled pasta sauce
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
On your mark, get set…
Prepare the recipe for Instant Polenta.
Remove the casings from the Italian sausage: Place one link on a cutting board and, with the tip of a sharp knife, make a cut along the length of the sausage. The meat will separate from the casing. Peel away the casing and discard. Using the flat side of the knife, spread the sausage meat onto the surface of the cutting board, then chop it to break up the meat into small pieces. Repeat with the other links. Add the chopped sausage meat to a bowl.
Wash the cutting board with hot soapy water and dry.
Peel and chop the onion.
Grate the fontina and mozzarella cheeses, using the large holes of a cheese grater, and combine in a bowl.
Grate the Parmesan cheese and set aside.
Measure out the Tomato Sauce, or bottled pasta sauce, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 204°C (400°F) with a rack in the middle of the oven.
Heat the olive oil in a 25-30 cm (10-12 inch) skillet over low heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the sausage and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the meat has lost its red color. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove the sausage and onion mixture from the pan with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl and set aside.
To assemble the pie: Cut the polenta into long ½-1 cm (¼ -½ inch) thick slices. Arrange some of the polenta slices so they completely cover the bottom and sides of a 25 cm (10-inch) square baking pan or cast iron skillet. It is all right if some of the pan shows through the slices.
Sprinkle half of each of the fontina and mozzarella cheese mixture evenly across the layer of the polenta. Top with the sausage and onion mixture.
Spoon on the pasta sauce, then sprinkle on the rest of the fontina and mozzarella.
Arrange polenta slices to form the top layer of the pie. The total amount of polenta you use will vary depending on the shape and size of your pan, so don’t worry if you have left-over polenta. You can refrigerate it for another recipe.
Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until completely heated through and the top is lightly browned. Let the pie stand for 15 to 20 minutes or until the filling is set.
Cut into slices and serve hot. Serve with polenta, pasta, or as a pizza sauce.