Susan's Baked Polenta
One package (one roll) of tomato/basil flavored polenta (or any flavor....or plain) (you can get this at some Dillions and any Whole Foods)
One Jar (or three cups homemade) Marinara sauce
One roll of Italian or Breakfast Sausage
One pint of sliced mushrooms
Two cups shredded mozzarella cheese.
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Polenta Recipe Story
My Italian Grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Capranica made this favorite for their grandchildren. It was our favorite because we used to eat it right off the table!! My Grandfather would stir the polenta (cornmeal) in a huge pot on the stove. When it was done, he would spread a giant wooden board or aluminum foil on the table. They would then spread the cornmeal on the table, and the sauce with sausage and mushrooms on top....and then top it with cheese. We would all grab a fork and dig in to eat it right off the table!! These days, I buy already made polenta and we eat it off a plate.....but my homemade sauce takes me back to those days when Grandma would say " mangia !!" , and we would all dig in with just a fork!!!
*Cooks note: I prefer leaving out the sausage and instead putting in three sliced large portabello mushrooms. Make sure they cook in the sauce. This is the gourmet option....if you prefer meat, use the sausage option.*
Cut the roll of polenta into 3/4 inch slices. Spread out the slices in an ungreased 13 by 9 inch dish.
Heat sauce in a saucepan. Throw washed mushrooms in and let simmer low for about a half hour.
Brown sausage in skillet and drain of the grease. Put sausage into tomato sauce.
Pour sauce over the polenta. Scatter shredded cheese on top.
Bake covered with aluminum foil in 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve with sprinkled parmesan cheese.