Polenta with Spicy Sausage Ragù

from Food & Wine

Pasta all'Arrabbiata Panzanella Salad
Prep Time
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Prep time
Cook time
Total time

This rich ragu (or sauce) obtains its umami from sweet carrot, onion, and pleasantly sharp fennel. Its deep flavors are livened up with two types of canned tomato working together to provide balance and depth. While this recipe has a spicy kick, you can temper it by using half spicy, half sweet Italian sausage (or all sweet sausage) if desired.


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chopped onion (from 1 small onion)
  • ½ cup chopped fennel (from 1 small bulb)
  • ½ cup chopped carrot (from 1 medium carrot)
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup dry white wine

How to prepare

  1. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until browned, 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally to crumble. Add onion, fennel, carrot, and garlic. Cook 7-8 minutes or until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons oregano, rosemary; cook 2 minutes. Add wine; cook until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Add chopped tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, bring stock and milk to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and polenta. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until thick and creamy, 3-5 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese.
  3. Divide polenta among 4 shallow bowls. Top with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with remaining oregano and cheese.

Recipe developed in partnership with Mutti® by Food & Wine.