Winter is certainly here. In central Illinois we have wind chills below zero already. I bundle up to head outside in a puffy coat, scarf, hat, and mittens and I am still cold. The wind... the wind gets me every time.
With the weather chilling our bodies, it is essential that we eat good warm comfort food. Something like the lasagna soup I showed you earlier this week. Or let's be honest, any kind of soup will do. Maybe you aren't feeling soup, so please try this quick and easy mushroom and sausage ragu. I served it atop some creamy cheesy polenta in order to make it complete comfort. It'll warm your soul. I promise.
Mushroom and Sausage Ragu with Polenta (adapted from Cooking Light The New Way To Cook Light)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces Italian sausage (I used hot but pick your spice level)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 lb button mushrooms, sliced
1 large garlic cloves
1/2 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth (homemade or low sodium store-bought)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked polenta
1/4 cup Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage to a plate.
Heat another 2 tsp of oil in the skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1 minute while constantly stirring. Return the sausage to the pan and mix in the tomatoes. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
Bring the broth and water to a boil in a saucepan. Whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the polenta topped with the ragu.