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italian polenta recipe with meat sauce

Polenta with Meat Sauce

  • Author: Angela DeSalvo


  • 6 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cups corn flour
  • ½ cup corn meal
  • Simmering pasta sauce
  • 1 cup navy beans, cooked and heated through
  • 1 pound sausage meat browned (casing removed)


  • In a separate pot, add 1-2 ladles of sauce to 1 heaping cup of cooked and heated navy beans. Allow to simmer together over low heat for about 10 minutes. Do not allow the beans to overcook or they will be mushy.
  • In a separate pot, add 2 scoops of heated sauce to the browned sausage meat and allow to simmer together over low heat while the polenta is being prepared.
  • In a bowl, mix the corn meal and corn flour together until well combined.
  • Place water in a large stock pot. Salt the water to taste.
  • Heat the water on medium heat but do not allow it come to a boil.
  • Begin adding the the corn flour/meal mixture to the water very slowly a little at a time while whisking continuously. Once all the flour/meal has been added and whisked for about 4-5 minutes, you can turn up the heat slightly.
  • Continue to cook and whisk and once it starts to bubble turn the heat back to medium. Switch to a wooden spoon for stirring.
  • Continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes. Nonna says a spoon should be able to stand in the polenta to know when it is done!
  • At this point, taste the polenta to be sure the flour taste is gone. Cook a little longer if necessary.
  • In case the polenta becomes too thick, you can add a little hot water while stirring.
  • Add the beans/sauce mixture to the polenta. Stir and allow to cook altogether for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  • In the bottom of a large serving dish, spread a couple of scoops of hot tomato sauce.
  • Carefully, pour the polenta over the sauce.
  • Cover the top of the polenta with the sausage/tomato sauce mixture.
  • With the wooden spoon, make a some “dents” in the top of the polenta to allow the sauce to soak in.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes before serving to allow it to set.
  • Have parmesan cheese and extra hot tomato sauce on the side for those that would like to add!
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