Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragu
2 T olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausages, casings removed
1 red onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 1⁄2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup finely chopped basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 1⁄4 cups polenta (not quick-cooking)
2 T butter
1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high; add sausage and cook, breaking it into small (almost meatball-like)pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and boil; simmer until thick, 30-40 minutes. Add basil, vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper; keep warm.
When sauce is nearly ready, bring sea salt and 5 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; slowly add polenta and cook, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, 1⁄2 cup parmesan, and kosher salt. Divide between bowls and top with ragù; garnish with more parmesan.