Serves 5 to 7
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
2 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced thyme
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups coarse yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled goat cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Pour 1/2 tablespoon oil into a [10”] heavy bottom skillet and brown sausage, over medium-high heat. Pour sausage into a mixing bowl and set aside. Drain excess oil from pan.
3. Pour remaining oil into the skillet and add mushrooms. Saute for 2 to
3 minutes. Add onion, garlic and thyme and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour mushroom mixture over sausage and fold together. Set aside.
5. Pour water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Generously season water with salt and pepper. Whisk cornmeal into water and reduce heat to medium. Continuously stir the polenta for about 5 minutes. Add butter, goat cheese and parmesan and stir until fully incorporated. Adjust seasonings.
6. Lightly grease the skillet used to sauté the sausage and vegetables. Pour half the polenta into the skillet and spread into an even layer. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the sausage/mushroom mixture, in an even layer, over the polenta and top with remaining polenta (creating almost a layered casserole). Sprinkle the top with the remaining sausage/mushroom mixture and crumbled goat cheese and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve.