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Sausage Ragù Over Polenta

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 25 mins
Total time 25 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup pork mixture and 2/3 cup polenta)

This quick, comforting ragù is a great way to change up pasta night. Italians use a sautéed mixture of minced onion, carrot, and garlic as the foundation for many sauces, called soffrito. Our method creates a rich, cohesive sauce in half the time. If you have a food processor, add the onion, carrot, and garlic, and pulse 2 or 3 times until very finely chopped. Look for bulk sausage, not links, to save the trouble of removing the casings. You can also substitute ground pork, ground beef, or ground turkey. Instead of pasta, we like serving this quick pork ragù over creamy, gluten-free polenta.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces bulk pork Italian sausage
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 366
  • fat 12.7 g
  • satfat 4.4 g
  • monofat 6.1 g
  • polyfat 1 g
  • protein 21 g
  • carbohydrate 37 g
  • fiber 7 g
  • cholesterol 32 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 667 mg
  • calcium 121 mg
  • sugars 11 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 1 g

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in pepper. Remove sausage mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Remove pan from heat (do not wipe out pan).

  2. Combine onion, carrot, and garlic on a cutting board; finely chop. Return pan to medium-high. Add onion mixture to pan; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add sausage mixture, 1/2 cup water, and tomato sauce to pan; cook 1 minute.

  3. Bring remaining 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. whisk in polenta. Reduce heat; cook 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently with a whisk or spoon. Stir in cheese. Serve polenta with pork mixture and parsley, if desired.