February 25, 2010

Polenta Sausage Egg Mozzarella Casserole

Sometimes when I'm browsing the Interwebs for recipe inspiration, I'm looking to find a recipe that uses a specific ingredient in a specific way. Obviously, I know what the ingredient is, but I only know in a "I'll know it when I see it," kinda way how I want to use it. And of course, I often don't find what I'm looking for. Anyway, I usually end up thinking, No... no... no... dammit, Epicurious, why don't you just give me what I want!?

The ingredient I wanted to use this time was ricotta. As you can see, I ended up using polenta. But it wasn't that my frustration with the Internet's inability to read my mind led me to give up, but rather that this recipe (and this recipe) got me so! excited!


covered in Parmesan cheese...

and a quick red sauce with lots of fresh rosemary and crumbled sweet Italian sausage...

makes for yummy time! Oh wait, there's even more!

Two cracked eggs and lots of sliced mozzarella, and a quick pop back in the oven for a few minutes.

And yum! This dish is really hearty, calls for some crusty bread on the side, and maybe a green salad to health it up a little.

Now if only that tub of ricotta would stop staring at me!

Polenta Sausage Egg Mozzarella Casserole
Adapted from Simply Recipes and The Bitten Word

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp diced fresh rosemary
Half of one yellow onion, diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 pound Italian sausage (removed from casings), sweet or spicy
2 cups prepared polenta, 1/2-inch slices if using prepared polenta in a tube
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 large eggs
1/2 pound (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch slices

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook for one minute more. Add the sausage, stirring and breaking into small pieces as it cooks. Drain your sausage if it is particularly fatty. Add can of crushed tomatoes to skillet, with fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook polenta according to package instructions (2:1 water to grits). Spread polenta into the bottom of a greased cast iron dutch oven or a 9x9 pan. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top of polenta. Place under the broiler and broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F.

Remove pan from oven and pour tomato sauce over polenta. Make two wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each well. Cover eggs and sauce with slices of mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes, depending on how well done you like your eggs. Let cool a few minutes before serving, and serve with more Parmesan cheese.