4 servings | Prep Time:45 minutes | Cooking Time: 1 hour
- For the Polenta
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the dish
- ½ cup (100 g) polenta, medium grain
- ¼ cup (50 g) polenta, fine grain
- 1 quart (1 l) whole milk
- Sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons (20 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg
- For the Tomato Mushroom Sauce
- ⅓ ounce (10 g) dried mushrooms, such as yellow chanterelles, porcini, or black trumpets
- 1 ½ tablespoons (20 g) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- 1 14-ounce (400 g) can whole, peeled tomatoes, diced with juice
- 1 sprig thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To Assemble the Dish
- 4 pieces chipolata or other pork sausage
- Canola oil
- 1 ½ cups (150 g) Pecorino Romano, or other aged sheep’s milk cheese, shredded
For the Polenta
- Butter a baking dish or sheet pan. Combine both polentas in a mixing bowl. Place the milk and the butter in a 3-quart (3 l) saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta to avoid clumps. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Cover the pot to avoid too much evaporation. Reduce the heat to low and cook the polenta for 45 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time. When the polenta attains the consistency of thick porridge, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the olive oil. In a separate bowl, beat the egg until foamy and add it slowly to the polenta while stirring quickly to avoid cooking the egg. Season with additional salt, if needed. Pour the polenta onto the buttered baking dish, and let it settle until it is about 1-inch (2 ½ cm) thick. Cover with plastic wrap and, if it is to be consumed immediately, let cool to room temperature. If it is to be served later, refrigerate. When set, cut the polenta into 2-inch (5 cm) cubes. Brush another gratin or baking dish with butter and arrange the polenta in the pan.
For the Tomato Mushroom Sauce
- Drain and squeeze out any excess water with your hands from the soaking mushrooms . If the mushrooms are large, cut into small, even, bite-sized pieces. Set aside. In a saucepan set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, garlic, and salt. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, and thyme. Cover the pot and let simmer for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Season with pepper. Remove the thyme.
To Assemble the Dish
Preheat a broiler . Pan fry the sausages in a sauté pan with a drop of canola oil until they color on all sides. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Cut the sausages into 2-inch (5 cm) chunks. Arrange the sausage over the polenta and cover with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Place under the broiler and brown lightly.
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