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Hot Italian Sausage with Fresh-Corn Polenta

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

Polenta has a reputation for being fussy, but the reputation is unwarranted. Polenta is good, simple, down-home food. It’s versatile, nourishing, and marries well just about any dish where a side of corn would be a natural. This polenta is the perfect bed for spicy Italian sausage and a tasty way to use up fresh summer corn.


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 4 large or 6 small ears of corn)
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano;  more for shaving
  • 12 links fresh hot Italian sausage
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on six servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 770
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 440
  • Fat (g): 49
  • Saturated Fat (g): 19
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 20
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 2210
  • Carbohydrates (g): 53
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 32


  • Bring 7 cups of water to a boil in a large (4-qt.), heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add 1 Tbs. kosher salt and whisk in the cornmeal in a fine stream. Continue to whisk until the polenta begins to thicken, 1 to 3 min. Turn the heat to medium low, and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. (If the polenta becomes too thick to stir, add hot water, a little at a time, until the polenta is soft but will still hold its shape.) After about 20 min. (the polenta should be about three-quarters done), stir in the corn and continue to cook until the corn is tender and the polenta is tender and no longer gritty, 10 to 13 min. more. Stir in the butter and grated Parmigiano. Taste the polenta and add more salt if necessary.
  • Meanwhile, using a small, sharp knife, pierce each sausage in 3 or 4 places. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until they are cooked through and golden brown on all sides, 15 to 20 min. Transfer to a cutting board, cut them in half on the diagonal, and keep warm.
  • Spoon the polenta onto dinner plates and arrange the sausages on the polenta. Using a vegetable peeler, shave a few curls of Parmigiano on top, and sprinkle with the parsley.

Serve with Charred Red Peppers with Garlic and Sherry Vinegar.  


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • lobsterwoman | 08/19/2012

    Delicious. Halved the recipe for 3 people and it was more than enough, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Will definately be making this again.

  • Digigirltx | 09/07/2011

    I cooked the polenta in half chicken stock, half water and would definitely do that again. I found that my polenta cooked a lot faster than indicated in this recipe. I used spicy Italian sausage as indicated in the recipe, but next time would use something even more flavorful, like Andouille. Also would add more corn - the bursts of sweet corn were with the spicy sausage were what really made this recipe work. Easy and pretty quick to make, definitely a keeper.

  • Cel | 08/21/2011

    I did make a half recipe of the polenta and it was more than enough for 4 people, with not much left over. Also grilled the (sweet) sausages. My husband was still raving about dinner long after we'd finished, and picky daughter liked it, too. The fresh corn makes the dish.

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