Recipe

Cheesy polenta and sausage bake

A gourmet twist on bangers and mash.

  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 4
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Creamy, cheesy polenta baked and topped with your choice of sausages and roasted vegetables makes a tasty weeknight meal.
Looking for more one-pan tray bakes?

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 3 finger eggplants (180g), halved lengthways
  • 350 grams mini vine capsicums, seeded, halved lengthways
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (60g) sicilian green olives
  • ⅓ cup (25g) finely grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup fresh small flat-leaf parsley leaves
Soft polenta
  • 1 cup (170g) polenta (cornmeal)
  • ½ cup (125ml) pouring cream
  • 50 grams butter, chopped
  • ⅓ cup (25g) finely grated parmesan
Pick-your-protein
  • 8 merguez sausages (640g) OR
  • 8 chicken sausages (600g) OR
  • 8 vegetarian sausages (600g)

Method

  • 1
    Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a deep, large frying pan over medium heat. Add your choice of protein; cook, turning, for 8 minutes or until sausages are browned all over. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Cut sausages into 4cm lengths on the diagonal.
  • 2
    Add ¼ cup of the oil to pan; cook eggplant, stirring, for 8 minutes or until browned lightly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil to pan; cook capsicum, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic and fennel seeds; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and return eggplant to pan; cook for a further 1 minute. Add vinegar, sugar and ½ cup (125ml) water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reduced slightly.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C.
  • 4
    To make soft polenta, bring 3 cups (750ml) water to the boil in a heavy-based 2.5-litre (10-cup) flameproof roasting pan over high heat. Gradually add polenta in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly until all polenta is incorporated into water; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 12 minutes or until mixture thickens and polenta is soft. Remove from heat; stir in cream, butter and half the parmesan until well combined. Season to taste.
  • 5
    Spoon chosen protein and eggplant mixture evenly over polenta; top with olives. Bake for 10 minutes. Scatter with remaining parmesan and parsley before serving.

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