Stewed Sweet Sausages in Fennel-Tomato Sauce
Polenta is a popular dish in many cultures. Made initially as a porridge, polenta used corn as its main ingredient, hence the color is usually is yellow. Later, in Europe, polenta was known to be prepped with locally available grains like millet, spelt, farro or even chickpeas! All of these grains are considered “ancient” grains, loaded with nutritional value and flavor.
Yet polenta would not be so delicious without extra flavors added to her! We love to add our own sauces, vegetables, and herbs. Polenta will take on the flavors you have in mind and in your cooking arsenal.
Try this dish with sweet sausages, onions, and tomatoes. Let’s celebrate a taste of yumminess!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 sweet Italian sausages (appr. 4/5 lbs.)
- If you cannot locate Italian sausages, use what's available
- 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed, each bulb cut into 8 wedges, fronds chopped
- "Frond": the leaf or leafelike part of a palm or similar plant (dictionary)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- Kosher salt
- 1 can x 28-oz Whole tomatoes, crushed with your hands, juices reserved
- If you do not have whole tomatoes, use the sliced variety
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 pequin chiles --> these are small and spicy dried red Mexican pequin chiles are available at Latin American markets and specialty stores.
- To substitute Pequin Chiles, use 2 chiles de arbol.
- Or use any red peppers.
- If you do not like spicy, then add just a tit-bit to bring out the flavors.
- Creamy polenta, for serving.
- In a large casserole, heat the olive oil. Add half of the sausages and cook over moderate heat, until browned all over, around 5 mins.
- Transfer to a plate, repeat with the remaining sausages.
- Add the fennel wedges to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 mins.
- Add the onion, garlic, fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the fennel is lightly browned, about 3 mins.
- Add the tomatoes and their juices, the wine, the chiles.
- Tuck the sausages into the sauce. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 mins.
- Uncover and simmer until the sausages are cooked through and teh sauce is thickened, about 40-45 mins.
- Garnish the stew with fennel fronds and serve over polenta.